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16 January 2018

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Bitterne Park Hotel listed as community asset PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 May 2014 09:34

bitterneparkhotellogoSouthampton City Council has added the Bitterne Park Hotel to its ‘List of Assets of Community Value’, giving the community a chance to bid on, and buy the property should owner Enterprise Inns ever decide to sell.


While the pub has just re-opened under new management, and talk of refurbishment is again in the air, the asset listing is about trying to offer the community some say should it ever come on to the market in the future.

If a property on the register is offered for sale, a Right to Bid is triggered, giving community groups six months to put together a sensible offer.

Community shares

 “If it ever did come up for sale I would look to create a community shares initiative allowing the local community to buy and own the property together. I'd hope to turn it into something that meets the needs of Bitterne Park people,” said Conroy Williams, who nominated the pub for the asset list.

The pub is only the second listed community asset in the city – the first being The Bittern pub in Thornhill Park Road, which was reportedly listed just too late to stop owners Punch Taverns selling it to McDonalds; planning issues are ongoing there.

castle_pub_closedCloser to home, local people had little say when Enterprise pub The Castle in Midanbury (right) was turned into a Tesco Express: “By the time local people found out what was going on, the deed had been done,” wrote Labour MP John Denham on

Chance to take control

But while a community bid might slow things down and offer some chance for locals to take control, there’s no guarantee either that funds could be raised or that such a bid would be accepted by the vendor: “Every community buyout requires a willing seller and willing buyer,” counsels Co-operatives UK.

One current example of an active campaign to buy, refurbish and then re-open a pub in Hampshire is at the Fox and Hounds in Denmead, Waterlooville, where locals have created a community share offer to try to buy their local.

Nationally, co-op consultant Dave Hollings says there have already been 27 co-operative buyouts of pubs in the UK – and 27 are still trading.


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