Skeeby residents relaunch campaign to reopen village pub

Campaigners outside the Travellers Rest in Skeeby.

Residents of Skeeby have relaunched a campaign to buy and reopen the village pub.

The Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS) aims to take over the Travellers Rest.

The group has this week announced they have stepped up their campaign to save the pub.

They are asking local residents to show their support by pledging to buy shares in the premises when they are in a position to but the pub.

The pub has been shut since 2008, with the owner’s attempts to seek planning permission to convert it into a house being rejected by planners.

The owner has put the building up for sale, however the £200,000 asking price is consider too high by residents.

They are instead looking at the possibility of working with Richmondshire District Council (RDC) to use a compulsory purchase order to enable the community to buy the building.

SCPS said in a statement: “We now have strong support from our local district councillor and our MP Rishi Sunak.

“RDC management are currently evaluating legal and planning matters in order to draft a report on CPO for consideration by council decision makers.

“To support and reinforce their own efforts, RDC have asked the Skeeby Community Pub Society to reaffirm and add to financial pledges made by supporters back in 2015.

“To this end, SCPS are re-launching their campaign with a new website and drive to ask potential investors to pledge to buy shares in the pub.”

SCPS said it would also be carrying out a “re-survey and valuation exercise”, as well as producing a revised business plan, revision to add weight to the council’s own efforts.

It added: “We are therefore now seeking evidence of public support.

“Of course, we are not in a position to buy the Travellers Rest at this time so we are just seeking a firm intention to buy shares when we are in a position to do so.

“Potential investors should be aware that they are investing in the bricks and mortar of the pub, so are not taking a business risk.

“Having said that, of the over 150 community pubs now in the UK, none, to date, have failed, even in these very difficult times.”

For more information visit www.thetravellersrestskeeby.co.uk or email thetravellersrestskeeby@outlook.com

 

 

Previously a successful, privately-owned and run village pub, after being bought by a Pubco, tenants struggled under cripplingly high lease and rent charges, restrictive tied purchasing conditions and lack of investment.

The Travellers Rest was closed in 2008 and bought by a property developer in 2010 who then announced plans to convert the pub into a dwelling.  The Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS) was then formed to fight the ‘change of use’ Planning Application and gather support for purchase and renovation of the of The Travellers Rest as a community pub.  In the face of this opposition, the owner withdrew his planning application, but refused to sell the pub to the community at a price which reflected its condition (the building having been re-roofed but stripped out internally).

Over the next 6 years a second Planning Application and a Planning Appeal were fought and defeated.  After rejection of the Planning Appeal by a Government Inspector in 2016, there is now no option for alternative uses for The Travellers Rest, other than as a pub.

Having still been unable to negotiate an acceptable purchase price, SCPS has, since 2017, been working with the local authority, Richmondshire District Council (RDC), to look into ways of breaking the deadlock with the owner including the investigation of Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) action by the Council.  We now have strong support from our local District Councillor and our MP (Rishi Sunak), and RDC management are currently evaluating legal and planning matters in order to draft a report on CPO for consideration by Council decision makers.  To support and reinforce their own efforts, RDC have asked the Skeeby Community Pub Society to reaffirm and add to financial pledges made by supporters back in 2015. To this end, SCPS are re-launching their campaign with a new website and drive to ask potential investors to pledge to buy shares in the pub.  SCPS will also be carrying out a re-survey and valuation exercise and Business Plan revision to add weight to the Council’s own efforts.

We are therefore now seeking evidence of public support. Of course, we are not in a position to buy the Travellers Rest at this time, so we are just seeking a firm intention to buy shares when we are in a position to do so. Potential investors should be aware that they are investing in the bricks and mortar of the pub, so are not taking a business risk.  Having said that, of the over 150 community pubs now in the UK, none, to date, have failed, even in these very difficult times.  For more information, or to make a pledge to help this long-running effort to reopen a much-loved pub, see our website: https://www.thetravellersrestskeeby.co.uk or email thetravellersrestskeeby@outlook.com for more information.

1 Comment

  1. I will buy and run it for £100,000 if residents pay for renovations! As an experienced publican?

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