Campaigners set £200,000 cash target to save The Ship

Campaigners and residents around Norwood Junction are trying to raise £200,000 towards the cost of buying The Ship pub from its owner.

An asset of community value: The Ship pub in South Norwood

An asset of community value: The Ship pub

The Ship has been granted status as an Asset of Community Value, the first in Croydon, but despite twice having had planning permission denied to turn the pub into flats, the owner-developer has gone ahead anyway. Croydon Council has failed to take any enforcement action, and is instead seeking to negotiate some “accommodation” over a retrospective planning permission.

This will include re-instated the pub on the ground floor and basement.

As an Asset of Community Value, if the developer wants to sell the property he has to give first refusal to “Save the Ship Campaign” as the nominating organisation.

Mark Pickering, who is named on the ACV, said, “Planning enforcement is so poor in Croydon, the only way residents can protect pubs and shops is to rally together and purchase them. We want to ensure that The Ship is refurbished sympathetically and is a pub that residents in the local area would like to drink in.”

The campaigners’ model is The Hope in Carshalton, an award-winning pub noted for its real ales and food, run as a co-operative.

The Norwood group plans on raising £200,000 through community shares valued at approximately £50 per share. The maximum number of shares an individual can purchase is £20,000. The community shares will be topped up by a mortgage, grants and social enterprise loans.

The campaigners have contacted the owner to advise him that they would like to purchase or lease the pub. The Save the Ship Campaign would have six months to raise the purchase price before it is placed on open market. The owner’s planning adviser has informed the campaigners that he’s currently getting a valuation on the building.

There is a meeting next Tuesday at 8pm at the Goldcoast Pub, Portland Road, to discuss plans to raise the money.

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