Residents victorious in pub protection bid

RESIDENTS have won a year-long battle to add their beloved local pub to a register protecting it against immediate sale.

The Vine pub has become Worthing's first asset of community value SUS-140710-153001001
The Vine pub has become Worthing's first asset of community value SUS-140710-153001001

The Vine Pub, in High Street, Tarring, has become the first asset of community value listed by Worthing Borough Council.

Under the legislation, the pub’s owners now have to give notice of an intended sale, allowing a six month period for the community to launch a bid to buy the site.

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Bruce Webster, 72, of Friends of the Vine, which has led the campaign, said: “The Vine is my second home.

“My friends are here and that is the essence of a community pub.

“It’s brilliant that it is now on the register and it is the first in Worthing.”

The group, which gained support from councillor Hazel Thorpe and MP Sir Peter Bottomley, began their campaign last September.

It followed concerns that planning loopholes left pubs vulnerable to change of use applications.

A similar appeal to register the Dolphin, in Dominion Road, was unsuccessful, with it eventually sold to Tesco.

The Vine’s application was initially rejected but successfully appealed on September 22.

Mr Webster said the register was a ‘stop gap’, with many loopholes still to be closed.

He said: “Under the Localism Act, we would have six months to get together the finance to bid for the pub.

“It only gives communities the right to bid, not the right to buy. It’s not just pubs which can be registered but anything with community value, such as a piece of land.”

For the full story, see the Worthing Herald, out Thursday, October 9.