An application to have a 190-year-old pub building near East Croydon Station declared as an Asset of Community Value will be submitted to Croydon Council tomorrow.
More than 40 people turned out to express their concern for the fate of The Glamorgan, on Cherry Orchard Road, which is under threat of demolition following its closure last November.
Sean Fitzsimons, the Addiscombe ward councillor who called the meeting, was encouraged by the positive response to the appeal, with support from south-east London CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, other pub owners and managers, and dozens of local residents, easily fulfilling the initial requirement for an ACV application of having 21 signatures.
Steve Thompson, a resident of Cross Road and a CAMRA member, spoke on history of the pub, back to 1830s, its three different names, and the community groups who use to meet there in the recent past.
Communities taking out an ACV on an underused or disused pub building have a strong track record locally, with The Hope at Carshalton having been transformed from a run-down shell and turned around to become acknowledged as one of the best pubs in London. Shareholders from The Hope were present to explain to the meeting how community involvement can manage a local.
Neil Pettingrew, the pub protection officer for SE London CAMRA, also spoke and gave advice. Has agree to provide support to the group.
“Finally, we took a vote to set up a new nominating group, which was passed unanimously,” Fitzsimons said. “We will finesse the application and submit it on Wednesday.”
Fitzsimons and the SavetheGlam steering group which was formed last night know that they face a race against time, as the property speculator who now owns the building has been pursuing council officials to speed up the process to get permission to demolish The Glamorgan. If the council adds The Glamorgan to its register of Assets of Community Value, the campaigners will have 18 months to raise the money required to buy the building and revitalise it into a living, breathing pub.
Anyone wishing to join the #SavetheGlam action group, or offering to put up the money to buy the old booser, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
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The Hope in Carshalton was not an ACV when the locals put their money up and took a lease on the place and turned it round. In fact, ACVs didn’t even exist when they risked their own cash to keep it as a pub.
Quite. it’s the money bit that people tend to forget. Forty people may well stop it turning into flats for a while, but are they willing to stump up maybe £10k or so each to take it on, do it up and keep it running long enough for it to start turning a profit? Or indeed part company with £10k each each to find out the hard way why it closed.
Yes, 40 people each raising £10,000 might be one way of doing this, Nick.
But let’s say that the 40 people who turned up for a meeting which was called just a week earlier are just a sample of the local interest in ensuring that their neighbourhood consists of more than just block after block of towers? What if they represent 80, or 120, or even 240 local people who think it is important, socially, for there to be something like a public house in a neighbourhood. That pro rata £10,000 per head figure starts to tumble very quickly, as the model of The Hope showed.
And let’s suppose that the previous owners of The Glamorgan were spectacularly unlucky in business, in that they invested in refurbishing the venue into a gastro pub in the depths of the global recession and just at a time when developers were clearing out all the nearby, old residential blocks, removing many of the pub’s erstwhile locals. And that a development scheme, which was meant to deliver hundreds of new homes – and therefore potential customers – by 2012-2013 was still not completed by 2016. Those new homes are beginning to be occupied now, and those new residents are going to want to spend some of their leisure time some where…
And let’s suppose that more than one pubco is looking at The Glamorgan and assessing its business potential.
And what’s the alternative? Oh yeah, more over-priced, under-sized flats…