TWO pubs near Salisbury could be designated as ‘community assets’ if applications are successful.
Under government rules, a property awarded the status should be offered to registered community groups first in the event of a sale, giving them a chance to retain the asset.
The system is most often used for pubs, where a community feels the venue is under threat of sale or development which would remove the ‘community asset’.
Now, villagers in Chilmark and in Pitton have applied to Wiltshire Council in a bid for the status to be applied to The Black Dog Inn and The Silver Plough, respectively.
Writing about The Black Dog, the nomination from Chilmark villagers said: “(The) Black Dog, the only pub in the village, has been a hub for the community for generations, furthering the social wellbeing and interests of the local community, as well as serving food and drink, all within walking distance for most villagers.”
It said it has been used by clubs and societies, as well as for recreation in the form of quiz nights, bridge evenings and Christmas gatherings.
The nomination comes after a planning application was previously submitted to Wiltshire Council for homes on land around the pub, which is owned by a pension plan trust based in London and a Robert Johnson Jones, or Cerne Abbas. The application was later withdrawn.
“Although this application was subsequently withdrawn, it raised concerns for residents about the future of the pub and its value to the community, as it would potentially change the facility which had previously been enjoyed by the village,” the nomination went on.
“Despite the fact the pub does not appear to be flourishing under current recent ownership, there is widespread confidence in the village – base don the pub’s history and previous usage – that it can be run as a successful entity, central to community life.”
Wiltshire Council will decide on the nomination, submitted by Chilmark Parish Council, by August 2.
People can find out more and submit comments on the bid online before July 5, via development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AyX8Y.
In Pitton, The Silver Plough is owned by brewery, Hall & Woodhouse Ltd.
A former 18th century farmhouse, the pub opened in 1947 and is the only pub in the village and is used by groups including The Men of Pitton, Pitton Ladies and others.
“The Silver Plough is a well-renowned village pub with a reputation for good food and in the past was the Egon Ronay pub of the year,” the nomination said.
“It continues to be at the centre of social activities within the village and there is a strong support within the village for the pub.”
It has been nominated by Pitton and Farley Parish Council.
A decision will be made by Wiltshire Council before August 2 and comment can be submitted online before July 5, via development.wiltshire.gov.uk/pr/s/planning-application/a0i3z00001AyXXa.