Trading potential highly relevant in refusing loss of public house

Change of use to a dwelling from a public house in a Berkshire village has been refused on the grounds of loss of a valued community facility and lack of demonstration that it would no longer be viable.

The inspector considered the viability of the scheme in detail and found that whilst there had been a steady decline in operating profit insufficient to provide a living wage, there was sufficient evidence to show a future operator could turn the situation around and improve viability. In addition, he found that the public house had been marketed at too high a price. With regards the loss of the community facility, he considered the existence of another public house in the village within walking distance, but felt that the fact that the local community wanted to run the facility and it had been designated as an asset of community value were significant factors in its retention for future use.

Inspector: Jonathon Parsons; Hearing

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