A CLOSED York pub has been listed as an asset of community value again so that villagers can have an opportunity to reopen it – despite the owners objecting to the plans.
And the councillor who made the decision said the pub is in a “nice location” but has been shut every time he has tried to visit in the past 20 years.
The Murton Arms pub – formerly The Bay Horse, in Murton – is currently closed. Murton Parish Council applied for the pub and its car park to be classed an asset of community value (ACV).
The building and car park are owned separately – but both owners objected to the plans.
Ruth Yeadon, owner of the building, told a council meeting: “I have been trying to sell the pub since November 2019.
“I have had very little interest and interestingly not a single approach from anyone in the village or the parish council.
“If the pub wasn’t viable in 2016 [when it was bought] it certainly isn’t now, given the downturn in the economic climate.”
Listing the pub as an ACV means a community group could get six months to fundraise enough money to buy the property, the meeting heard.
But the owner could make a claim for compensation for any costs as a result of the property being listed and delays caused.
Tracey Carter from the council told the meeting the implications of the listing “probably sound more alarming than they are”.
She said: “It does not mean that the owner cannot sell the premises to anyone else.
“It means they’ve got to go through a process of notifying the group who have made the listing and offer them the opportunity to bid.
“The seller is is then under no obligation just to sell it to that group.”
Cllr Nigel Ayre said there was no legal reason to refuse the application but added: “I do have significant sympathy with the [owners].
“I’ve lived in this particular area for the best part of 20 years and I’ll be honest every time I’ve visited it’s been shut down. It looks like a nice location.”
“It’s always somewhere I think ‘oh a nice place to go and have a meal’ and every time I’ve been there for the last 20 years it’s never been open.
“I think it’s a difficult situation and I do believe they have really tried to make that business work.”