The Tree, Stapleford, has been a much-loved community pub since c.1850. However, it was purchased by a developer in October 2013 and was immediately closed down. It has been empty since, deteriorating whilst change-of-use planning submissions get either withdrawn or rejected.
The pub is listed as an Asset of Community Value and, fortunately, the South Cambridgeshire District Council are supporting us in the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process to acquire the pub from the developer.
HOWEVER, WE ARE BREAKING NEW GROUND!There has not yet been a compulsory purchase order made under the localism act, and as a result our community is having to stump up a potential £100,000 in legal fees (we would be liable for the legal fees and reasonable costs of all parties). Ordinarily these costs should be around £30k, but because we are the first the legal fees are potentially much higher. All these costs are in addition to the c.£400k that the community has raised through grants (thanks to the Plunkett Organisation and Pub is the Hub), pledges and loan funding to acquire the freehold of the premises and its refurbishment to bring it back to use. No granting agency will help fund the CPO process - hence this need for a separate fundraising approach.
WHEN WE WIN, THE PRECEDENT WILL HELP ALL COMMUNITIES IN A SIMILAR SITUATION. A few Pounds donation from each of you potentially having to go down the same route will save you tens of thousands once our CPO is successful and a precedent is set.
Thank you! The Tree Stapleford Community