St Albans pub listed as an asset of community value

The Camp pub

The Camp pub - Credit: Archant

A troubled St Albans pub has been listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) following an online petition and a campaign from locals.

A decision was made to close The Camp in Camp Road two days earlier than announced

A decision was made to close The Camp in Camp Road two days earlier than announced - Credit: Archant

The Camp in Camp Road St Albans was sold to housing developer, Howarth Homes, in May.

But a campaign to list the pub as an ACV quickly reached the 21 signatures required to submit an application and prevented Howarth Homes from developing the site until a decision was made.

More than 600 people then signed an online petition on the campaign website, 38 Degrees, urging the council to grant the pub ACV status.

Last week the council accepted the application and the pub has become the first of its kind in St Albans to be listed as an ACV.

Steve Bury, who ran the ‘Save the Camp’ campaign group, said: “It’s a great thing. The pub’s now got a level of protection from development.

“If they want to develop or build on the site they need to apply for a change of use.”

Now that the pub is listed as an ACV, the community are given first refusal should Howarth Homes decide to sell the building.

Under those circumstances, members of the community would then have a period of six months to raise the funds to buy the premises.

But Steve said: “That is a bit of a long shot. I’m just happy we’ve got protection of the pub for now.”

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Phil Defriez, the chairman of South Herts Camra (Campaign for Real Ale), said it was “great news”.

He added: “We did not like what’d happened, that it was sold without any care about the customer or the community.

“It’s the only pub for miles around and it’s good news that the council have listened to the people.”

The Camp Road pub closed its doors on May 16, two days earlier than planned, due to a suspected arson attack on a staff car.

Howarth Homes are likely to appeal the decision.