Scotton residents battle to save pub

wkd. The Guy Fawkes Arms in Scotton. 1910067c.
wkd. The Guy Fawkes Arms in Scotton. 1910067c.

Scotton residents are lauching a campaign to save their local pub.

A planning application has been put in by Punch Taverns to sell the Guy Fawkes Pub for residential accommodation.

Objectors packed into the parish council meeting on Wednesday to discuss what they could do to save their local amenity.

A petition has been set up and residents were encouraged to send objections to Harrogate Borough Council.

Pete Roberts expressed his concern that the decision would be made by the planning officer rather than the planning committee. Coun Anthony Alton responded that villagers could request that the application goes before the committee which he would support.

He also said that planning policy was robust in respect of a pub which was still open with a tenant, although doubts were expressed that the current tenants are only “tenants at will”. Coun Alton stated that the council would expect Punch Taverns to market the pub for 12 months before a change of use would be considered

A meeting will be held today, Friday, January 25 at the Guy Fawkes Pub to discuss the way forward with the campaign which will be attended by MP Andrew Jones.

There is also a further meeting planned on Sunday with advice on using the website.

At the parish council meeting a reference was made to the Community Right to Bid under the Localism Act which would enable the Guy Fawkes to be registered as a community asset.

This would give six months grace either for the village to bid to buy the pub or to find another buyer.

It was also suggested there may be bats in the loft above the pub which would require a bat survey before any alterations were carried out.

Following the public session the parish council agreed to object to the application on planning grounds.

Objections have to be submitted by Friday, February 2 and councillors are to meet again to formulate their detailed grounds for objecting.