Villagers call for closed pub to be made community asset – but owner says it will reopen

The Swan in Gilling West.

A group of villagers have called for a pub to be made a community asset after the business was closed.

But the owners of the White Swan Inn, in Gilling West, say they will look to reopen the pub after modernisation work has been completed.

The pub closed in August with owners Dean and Vic saying they were shutting to spend time on projects which were “more fulfilling and more rewarding”.

Since then, several planning application have since been submitted to North Yorkshire Council to make changes to the premises.

These include retrospective applications for the repainting of the pub frontage to grey and the installation of stone gabions that were used to make a seating area at the front of the pub.

An application for various internal work has also been submitted.

The owners say the work is needed to modernise the premises before the business reopens, and have stressed that a change of use application — which would be needed before the pub can be turned into a house — has not been applied for.

Dean told Richmondshire Today: “Planning permission has been submitted for refurbishment and modernisation of the building.

“Awaiting that decision, we’ll then refurb in accordance and look to reopen the bar in a way that is conducive to modern operations.”

The landlord said the pub also remained for sale, with an asking price of £550,000.

However, a group of 30 people calling themselves the Gilling West Community Group has applied to North Yorkshire Council for the pub to be declared an ‘asset of community value’, claiming they are worried the planning applications are part of a plan to turn the building into a house.

They said in the letter: “We are all supportive of any planning application that genuinely makes the building more suitable as a pub/dining facility.

“We are concerned the current four planning applications submitted about the White Swan Inn are more about turning the building in to better residential accommodation, and a gradual process of turning the building from a pub into a house.

“We are not supportive of any move that turns the public house in to a private dwelling.”

If granted, the asset of community value status may be considered when officials consider planning applications for the premises.

It could also give the community time to raise funds should they wish to buy the pub.


  1. Joe, have you actually read the the letter of these unidentified 30 people and their vindictive unevidenced allegations about how the pub was run which defy every review on TripAdvisor? Have you also checked the FB page for the existing community asset, the village hall? If you do you will see that they think it is underused and they are desperate for new members. Hardly an advert for yet another community asset. Are you unfamiliar with the fact that previously this pub was bankrupt and closed for quite a long time but none of these 30 people availed if that opportunity to acquire it and spend the considerable amount of time and money to create what exists today?There is of course another pub in Gilling West and it is debatable whether two pubs in a small village is financially viable, as it will not be without extremely good village patronage of both pubs, which is the basic problem that these 30 people fail to comprehend. What is of greatest concern is that this group of 30 people have failed to offer any plan of how they intend to operate a community pub or fund the same. They are all talk and no action. All they need to do is put their hands in their own pockets and buy the pub which is available for sale, as anyone can see on a local estate agent’s website. It’s not rocket science. The problem is that none of them are willing to take that on. Perhaps ask them what their plan is because without a plan their noise is somewhat meaningless

  2. I was a regular patron of this pub before moving to Australia in the late 80s early would be a damned shame if it were turned into a domestic dwelling. If the owner can’t hack pub life then he should sell it to someone who can. It would be a very sad day for the people of Gilling West as it was a central part of village life. A very saddened ex-resident Sue Brazell (now from the Sunshine Coast Australia)

Comments are closed.