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Salhouse Bell becomes ‘community asset’ in bid to save it from closure

PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 January 2014 | UPDATED: 07:54 15 January 2014

The Bell at Salhouse.

The Bell at Salhouse.

Archant © 2009

A closed-down pub has been designated as a community asset in an attempt to ensure pints are pulled there in the future.

The Bell in Salhouse shut in October when Steve and Trudi Hardiman brought their four-and-a-half years behind the bar to an end.

Enterprise Inns is advertising for new tenants, but Salhouse Parish Council is keen to ensure its future is as a pub.

It made a request to Broadland District Council to add the pub to the authority’s register of land and buildings of community value.

In their submission to the council, the parish council said: “This ancient inn is at the heart of the village and has a restaurant, beer garden and bowling green, as well as two bars.

“It serves not only as the focal point for many local people and a meeting place for village clubs and activities, but also serves visitors to the area, particularly from Salhouse Broad.

“The parish councillors believe that this public house is of importance because a village pub is a vital social gathering place for many residents.”

The council’s Conservative-controlled cabinet agreed this week to put the pub on the community asset register – a move which was welcomed by parish council chairman Chris Dady.

Being on the list does not restrict who the owner of a property can sell to or at what price and nor does it give a right of first refusal to a community interest group.

What it does mean is that, if a property is put up for sale, community interest groups get extra leeway to raise money to bid for them.

Mr Dady said: “This is the parish council trying to create a safety net. It is being advertised for let as a pub, but if the worst comes to the worst and it looks like it is not going to carry on as a pub, then it would give the parish council an option to bid on the property.

“There might be a community group in the village interested in taking it on and this would give them that option.”

Are you fighting to save a local pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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