Members of the community invited to purchase the Spa Inn
REGULARS have been offered the chance to run their pub which is threatened with closure.
A planning application to turn the Spa Inn in Oldends Lane, Stonehouse, into five dwellings was deferred by the district council’s planning department in August to allow Wadworth Brewery time to provide further information concerning the viability of the pub.
After the deferral Wadworth’s offered Stonehouse Town Council, or a nominee, a rent-free standard tenancy agreement for 12 months.
However at a meeting in September the town council agreed to defer the offer until they had more information about the tenancy agreement.
Members of the town council have since met with representatives from Wadworth’s to discuss a potential tenancy agreement.
Town clerk Gill Jennings explained: “At our meeting with them, Wadworth’s did say they would wait until the November planning meeting to re-submit a planning application.
“However we received a letter last month which stated that they had been advised by their planning consultant to appeal on the grounds of non-determination which means that the application might go through on a technicality.”
At a meeting on Monday, October 7 the town council was expected to decide whether it would support an application by a resident to become tenant of the pub or not if it was deemed there was ‘too much risk’ attached to the Wadworth’s tenancy.
A third option was also suggested to invite members of the community to come forward and purchase the Spa Inn as a co-operative pub.
The council agreed to defer the decision again to give a community group the opportunity to come forward and purchase the pub.
“This means that interested parties buy shares in the co-operative, do their own fund-raising and purchase the pub,” explained Mrs Gennings.
Also at the meeting the council agreed that it would consider becoming a shareholder if it deemed there was ‘sufficient interest’ from the community.
Members of the campaign group Save Our Spa, which was launched by patrons who use the Spa Inn in Oldends Lane, have been gathering signatures for a petition against the application to submit to SDC’s planning department.
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