A councillor is “chuffed to bits” after helping his village rally together to save its only pub from demolition.
Councillor Phil Shields (Ind) worked with his community to protect the Three Lions pub, in Netherfield Lane, Meden Vale, after a 48-home plan was lodged in the summer.
The proposals, if approved, would have seen the site knocked down and turned into affordable and social homes, leaving the village without a pub after losing other community facilities in the past.
But the councillor and local residents are celebrating after managing to get the site registered as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), receiving support from the council and company Pub is the Hub in the process.
This means the building is officially recognised as a hub used to “further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community”, with plans confirmed to do just that in the future.
It also protects the site from development and gives the community a chance to buy the building under Community Right to Bid laws.
It comes at the same time as the applicant proposing the homes scheme withdrew its planning application to Mansfield District Council, which was due before the planning committee next week.
The council confirmed the withdrawal on Monday (November 15) but did not give the reasons why.
However, planning officers had recommended the homes be refused, with a report referencing the successful ACV application and the potential impact losing the pub could have on the village.
Now Cllr Shields has confirmed working is ongoing to find a route into buying the pub and its land – with the hope of transforming it into a community centre and retaining elements of the public house.
He said: “The support has been absolutely incredible, I had more than 200 people volunteering to get this sorted and loads of signatures.
“It’s been an effort but it was worth it. Places like Meden Vale not only have to fight to get stuff but also to save stuff.
“I’m chuffed to bits. Saving the pub became the be-all, end-all to the village.
“I remember it being built and it was the first legal pint I had, we’ve lost the welfare, the old village hall and it’s becoming a bit of a ghost town.
“To lose the only asset at the cost of developing social housing would have destroyed the village.”
There is funding available from the Government to support saving community pubs, but the village must now find out how to access it.
Planning documents which were due to be reviewed next week added: “One of the key purposes of the ACV designation is to provide local community groups with a chance to buy the property on the open market under the Community Right to Bid.
“Significant weight should be attributed to the designation of the building as an ACV.
“The Three Lions is the only pub within Meden Vale. This offers a place for residents to congregate and meet socially.
“The loss of the only public house would be acutely felt by the village and be detrimental to social cohesion.
“As is clear through the designation of the building as an ACV, and through local representations received, the public house is valued by the community.”