Residents aim for compulsory purchase order to reopen Skeeby pub

The Traveller's Rest in Skeeby.

Villagers hoping to reopen their local pub are looking at the possibility of using a compulsory purchase order (CPO) to take over the premises.

Members of the Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS), together with district councillor William Heslop, have met with senior officers from Richmondshire District Council (RDC) to discuss how they can make progress on reopening the Travellers Rest.

One option is for the council to use a CPO to acquire the building for the benefit of the community, however the SCPS group admitted this is some way off.

The group said in a statement: “In broad terms, for RDC to progress a CPO, we need to demonstrate that we have a sound business plan supported by the financial resource, appetite, need and commitment from our community.”

The group said one area of weakness was the “lack of support shown by the parish council”, and Skeeby residents are being urged to contact the council to ask them to back the campaign.

SCPS said: “We urge you to rally support through the parish council so that they are persuaded to show their backing to reinstate this much needed community asset.

“If you would like to actively support our campaign it would help enormously if you could write to the clerk of Skeeby Parish Council, Frances McGregor, and urge the parish council to back reinstatement of the Traveller’s Rest as a public asset.”

The email address for the clerk of Skeeby Parish Council is francesmcgregor@btinternet.com

The villagers are also in talks with The Plunkett Foundation, which helps communities take over the running of local assets.

However, they have told the group they need to have concrete plans in place, and have more support of the local authorities and community, before they can give their time and funding to help reopen the pub.

SCPS said they aimed to get the parish council behind them and then hold a community meeting to relaunch the campaign to save the pub.

The group is looking for more volunteers.

If you are interested in joining email thetravellersrestskeeby@outlook.com

For more details on the group click here.

The pub has been shut since 2008.

Owner Jon Whitfield applied for permission to the convert the building into a house.

The application was rejected by the district council’s planning committee.

Mr Whitfield appealed the decision, but this was also rejected by a planning inspector in 2017.