By Green Phoenix Team - 13th August 2020 7:00pm
We have been seeing much discussion about the Green Dragon and can see that it is very clearly still a much loved part of Haddenham (even if the current owner needs to show it some TLC).
We wanted to give you our take on the current situation and what can be done to try and preserve this vital community asset.
The Green Dragon is listed for sale with an "overage" clause on it, which means that any purchaser would have to pay 70% of any profit they receive to the current owner following change of use to residential in the future — for the next 70 years.
This is a major disincentive to any potential purchaser. Even if they are committed to running the business as a going concern, they need the reassurance that if the business was to require capital it can be secured against a residential development.
We also understand that banks would probably not lend against the property with the overage clause in place (thus making bank finance difficult to raise) as it would be an obstacle to their ultimate exit on any sale of the property.
We have knowledge of several prospective reputable purchasers locally who would deliver exactly what the community wants in terms of a food offering, but can't accept the deal with the overage in place.
We believe there is a very real chance that the community's support for the preservation of the Green Dragon as a pub will potentially diminish as the building physically deteriorates. It could be that any owner would be aware of this and so would try and make the process go on for as long as possible to see the community's support decline and therefore give any planning appeal a better chance of succeeding.
As you may be aware, the current owner has re-applied for planning permission to change the property to residential less than one month after his planning appeal was rejected.
We urge you to object to this by registering your views here
Clerly we live in very uncertain times, especially for the Pub and Hospitality industry, and we can see why some people may think that it is better to live near a refurbished house than a derelict pub. But we firmly and passionately believe that Covid will go away, that we will all meet, drink and dine together again. For that we will need our community pubs more than ever.
We therefore urge you to object to this planned change of use (again), and the onerous 'overage charge' against it, so that we can create fair conditions for a committed purchaser to bring this much loved pub back into the community and create a real asset for us all.
Jamie, Jon & Nick and The Green Phoenix team