The home of Hallam FC and Hallam Cricket Club has been granted protected status.
Sandygate stadium in Crosspool is now an asset of community value, meaning that if the owners ever want to sell the ground, they would have to inform the local authority and give a community group six months to raise the money to purchase it.
Ben Curran, council cabinet member for planning and development said: “I don’t know any more than I’ve read here, but it’s probably best to assume the information is accurate. I will get the team to get on this first thing in the morning with a view to preventing demolition.”
As you all know, we lodged our bid with Enterprise on August 17 and had some discussions with them after that date.
We were informed that a ‘significantly’ higher bid had been made and that it was from someone who wished to continue to operate the Plough as a pub. We took this information from Enterprise in good faith.
Since then, it has been very difficult to obtain any further information about the potential buyer but we have picked up a number of disturbing rumours suggesting that the pub has been purchased as a development opportunity.
We understand that a residential development of the site might be attempted in the guise of reopening the Plough as a bistro for a short period time but with the long term aim of redeveloping the whole site at the expense of the pub.
We remain committed to protecting the Plough as an Asset of Community Value and will campaign against any proposed change of use or any backdoor attempt to redevelop the site. The current ACV runs until 2020 at which time we can reapply for listing for another five years.
We did anticipate that when dealing with Enterprise, things are not always as they seem, and it may be we are in for another hard fought planning campaign.
We are keen to get the message out there to any potential developers – beware of the power of our local community!
The Save The Plough campaign group have announced that their bid to buy The Plough has been beaten by a higher offer from another party that wishes to reopen the pub:
We submitted our bid to the agents last week. Our bid was based on a professional valuation of £435,000 which also included the third car park adjacent to the sports ground.
We were informed by the agents that the third car park had now been taken out of the sale but we stood by our bid.
In discussions with both the agents and Enterprise Inns this week, we were asked if we could increase our bid to match one which was ‘significantly’ higher than ours. We did not want to get drawn into a bidding war and restated that our bid was a fair and reasonable offer.
It seems that Enterprise Inns will go with the higher offer. We do not know who the other bidder is but Enterprise did say it was someone who wants to reopen the pub and it is someone with a track record in the industry.
Despite the fact that we now seem to have reached the end of the road for our project, we would like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign and those who pledged to invest in a community pub. Local people have shown great support for the Plough and we think that this has persuaded other investors that it can be a viable pub and a great local.
Obviously, there is some disappointment in that we might not meet our aim of reopening the Plough as a community run pub but we feel that we can all be proud of what we achieved. When our campaign began in June 2016, our original campaign slogan was ‘Save the Plough’ and it looks like we have done that. If we had not successfully campaigned against Sainsbury’s application for change of the use, the pub would have been lost forever.
During the course of our campaign, it has become clear that there is tremendous community spirit in Crosspool and it would be great if that community spirit could be channeled into other local projects – any ideas?
Once again, we would like to thank everyone for their support throughout a long and challenging campaign and, whenever we had a low point as a campaign group, the support of the community always got us through.
The group has been in discussions with a private investor who has offered to buy the freehold of The Plough and lease it back to the community group on favourable terms over an initial 10-year period. The private investor would cover the acquisition and external refurbishment costs.
The £120,000 would cover the initial start-up costs of the business.
If you are interested in making an investment in The Plough contact the group directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook for a copy of the pledge form.
A public meeting is also scheduled to take place on Thursday 15 June, 7pm at St Columba’s on Manchester Road.
We have formed the Plough Community Benefit Society Ltd and have registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that we are now in a position to raise funds through a Community Share Issue.
Originally, our plan was to buy the freehold of the Plough which had been put on the market for offers in excess of £550,000. We commissioned a valuation from an independent consultant who valued the pub at £435,000. Clearly raising that kind of money plus funds for refurbishment would have been a tough challenge.
However, very recently, we have been in discussions with a private investor who has offered to buy the freehold of the Plough and lease it back to the community group on favourable terms over an initial 10 year period.
Financially, this makes our target much more achievable. The private investor would cover the acquisition and external refurbishment costs. We would be responsible for refitting the interior of the pub.
We are looking to raise £120,000 through a Community Share Issue which would cover the initial start-up costs of the business.
We are now seeking to gauge the level of support for a potential Community Share Issue. Shares will be valued at £1 and sold in batches with a minimum investment of £250 rising to the legal maximum of £20,000. All shareholders will have equal voting rights irrespective of the value of their holding.
If you would be interested in making an investment in the Plough, please contact us directly by email for a copy of our Pledge Form: email@example.com. Or contact us through Facebook messenger.
Please consider making a financial and social investment in the Plough as both a traditional local pub and a thriving community asset.
We will be in Crosspool precinct tomorrow morning if you would like to talk to us and we are planning to hold a public meeting on June 15th.
We have had official confirmation from Sainsbury's that they will not be appealing the planning decision – over to Enterprise now!
— The Plough Sandygate (firstname.lastname@example.org) (@PloughSandygate) February 13, 2017
In the Sheffield Telegraph, a spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s said: “Following the decision to refuse the planning application, we have reviewed our options and have decided not to proceed with an appeal. We will continue to look for further opportunities in the area.”
True North Brewery, the owners of several successful South Yorkshire pubs including The York in Broomhill, said in another Sheffield Telegraph article that they’d be interested in buying The Plough pub should it be put on the market.
The decision was unanimous and the reason given is:
In the opinion of the Local Planning Authority, the proposal to change the use of the public house (Use Class A4) to retail (Use Class A1) would involve the loss of a building that is considered to be a valued community asset, which before its recent closure supported community groups and activities catering for the social wellbeing and interests of a wide section of the local community, being designated an Asset of Community Value.
The public house is considered to be well regarded by the local community and there are no alternative premises within a reasonable travelling distance for many of the individuals who use the premises.
The Local Planning Authority is of the opinion that insufficient evidence has been provided by the applicant to demonstrate that the use of the building as a public house is unviable and incapable of continuing to be used as such for the foreseeable future.
To grant planning permission in this instance would therefore be contrary to Paragraph 70 of National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which seeks to guard against the unnecessary loss of valued facilities and services.
Around 50 members of the public were present at the meeting. Opinions were given both for and against granting planning permission.
Council planning officers had previously recommended that The Plough should be retained as a public house and community asset.
Sainsbury’s may appeal the decision – although we hope that as a responsible company they will respect the wishes of the local community and the decision made by the local authority
Enterprise Inns may leave the building empty and boarded up – however, we have already discussed with councillors the option of a compulsory purchase if the building is left in a state of disrepair
Enterprise could reopen the pub as a ‘managed house’ – although we doubt they would want to spend in excess of £100,000 to bring the buildng back into use
Enterprise could put the pub on the market – this would trigger a six month period during which the option of a community buy-out could be considered. Alternatively, another brewery or pub operator could come foward and buy the pub to run it is a going concern. We are aware that a number of local breweries/pub companies have expressed an interest in taking on the Plough.