Decision details

Asset of Community Value (Duke of Wellington Pub Willingham)

Decision Maker: Communications and Communities Service Manager

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The purpose of this decision is to decide whether the land/building should be included as an asset of community value (“ACV”) on the Council’s register of ACVs.

 

On 15 May 2024 a nomination was received from Willingham Parish Council in respect of The Duke of Wellington Public House, 55 Church Street, Willingham, CB24 5HS.

 

Following consideration of the nomination, Notice of Nomination was sent to Cllrs Bill Handley and Daniel Lentell (for the district Ward of Over & Willingham), to the Parish Council acknowledging their nomination and to the owners, occupiers. The nomination was publicised through the weekly bulletin and the Lead Member for Communities was notified.

Decision:

Officers have considered the nomination along with the feedback from consultations and are satisfied that the non-ancillary use of the asset as detailed in the nomination form and accompanying map did further the social well-being or cultural recreational or sporting interests of the local Community in the recent past.  It is also considered realistic to think that there is a time in the next five years when there could be non-ancillary use of the asset that would further (whether or not in the same way as before) the social well-being or social interests of the local community. Therefore, it can be accepted, in accordance with Section 88 (2) of the Localism Act 2011.

Reasons for the decision:

The Duke of Wellington Public House has been at the heart village life for over 250 years and remains the only traditional, historical pub in Willingham. It is located close to the village green, in the conservation area, and was specifically included in the SCDC 1999 Willingham Conversation Area Appraisal.

The Public House is currently closed to the public. It closed in 2022 following the COVID19 pandemic and restrictions for public venues. It had operated successfully for around 15 years before it closed. It provided a menu including food from locally sourced farmers, as well as local beers, furthering individual wellbeing. Events, most of which were free to the village, included the annual garden party, live music events, themed events (e.g. Rum & Reggae Parties and fancy dress themed New Years Eve parties), sports events (e.g. village boules competitions) casino nights, quiz nights, open air discos, Bungee jumps and the village dog show. These all provided an opportunity to bring the village community together. Most importantly, it has provided the villagers of Willingham the opportunity to meet socially and discuss local issues which in turn has supported community cohesion. The extensive pub garden also allowed popular 'family centric' summer village events to take place and the large free car park meant that the pub was safely accessible to those villagers with limited mobility.

The pub is currently closed and up for sale on Rightmove, where it is described as a ‘Rare public house refurbishment opportunity,’ and ‘The 1st floor provides domestic accommodation including kitchenette, two bedrooms, lounge and bathroom’. A group within the Community is currently working on ideas and funding to try and purchase the pub.

 

It meets the description of an asset of community value.

Alternative options considered:

The options are:

(a) To accept the nomination and place the asset on the register of assets of community value,

(b) To refuse the nomination and place the asset on the register of unsuccessful nominations

Publication date: 03/07/2024

Date of decision: 03/07/2024

Accompanying Documents: