The Royal Hotel in Heysham has been recognised by Lancaster City Council as an “Asset of Community Value” (ACV). This designation, made under the Localism Act 2011, provides a measure of protection from changes of use. The pub was nominated by the Lunesdale Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
The branch’s Pubs Officer, Lawrence Bland, said, “We are delighted that the Council has recognised that this pub is a real community asset. Pubs have been closing recently at a frightening rate and we hope that the ACV designation will put a brake on this. We would like to see a lot more community pubs included in this scheme. Anyone who thinks their local should be an ACV is invited to contact us.”
Any property may be nominated as an Asset of Community Value, but in practice the great majority of nominations, both locally and nationally, have been of pubs. An ACV designation offers two main protections:
- Under current planning rules, a pub can be converted to a shop or a restaurant without planning permission, but if it is an ACV, permission is required.
- If the property is put up for sale, the sale can be delayed by up to six months to allow the local people to organise a buyout.