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Green Dragon Up For Sale?

by Haddenham Webteam – 8th November 2018
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Aylesbury Vale District Council has informed our parish council that Enterprise Inns, owners of the Green Dragon in Churchway, intends to proceed with the sale of the pub.

Business As Usual
Please note: the potential sale of the building does not impact the running of the pub, which continues to be very capably and successfully managed by Abi Armstrong – whom many will know as landlady of the Kings Head in Haddenham. You can remain abreast of the pub's continuing attractions in the run-up to Christmas here.

Community Asset
Some months ago CAMRA's Aylesbury and Wycombe Branch took the initiative to have the Green Dragon listed as a community asset. The legal expression is: listed as an Asset of Community Value pursuant to the Localism Act 2011.

As a consequence of this listing, the proposed sale of the building triggers the Interim Moratorium Period lasting six weeks during which time Community Interest Groups with a local connection may register an expression of interest in purchasing the property.

The six week period commenced on Tuesday 6th November 2018 and will expire on Tuesday 18th December 2018.

Any Community Interest Group with a local connection that wishes to express an interest to bid for the purchase of this property must notify AVDC in time, using the the expression of interest form – see document below the image.

Hopefully, this option will be seriously considered by relevant groups in Haddenham. The Green Dragon has been part of village life for well over 200 years and was the home of the Court Leet (it was named after the Earl of Pembroke's emblem when he was lord of the Haddenham and Thame area). Many would feel it a sad loss to see a new owner apply for change of use, and turn the building and its land into dwellings.

But before any decisions are made, it may be worth noting concerns about the physical state of the building. It is alleged that the roof is leaking, there is associated damp in the upper floor, there is a potential flooding issue in the cellar and the kitchen is in poor condition. The current tenant manager has been working very hard to upgrade the building – however, a full structural survey would be required, of course.

Community Interest Groups

Please see the guidance notes attached to the form for the definition of a Community Interest Group. A body (other than a Parish Council) has a local connection with land in a Local Authority's area if the body's activities are wholly or partly concerned with:

(i) the local authority's area, or

(ii) a neighbouring authority's area.

Or if it is a company limited by guarantee or an Industrial and Provident Society and which any surplus it makes is wholly or partly applied for the benefit of the local authority's area or for the benefit of a neighbouring authority's area then it has a local connection.

Please note that this only entitles the Community Interest Group the right to bid for the property and not the right to buy. If a Community Interest Group expresses an interest to bid for the property then the full six-month moratorium period will come into operation. The full moratorium period gives the Community Interest Group time to arrange finance for the potential purchase. During the full moratorium period the seller can continue to market the property and enter into negotiations with interested purchasers but the seller cannot exchange contracts for sale with anyone other than a Community Interest Group, until after the six month period has expired.

If you require more details about the process please refer to the Council's web-page on Community Right to Bid – see here.

Alternatively The Secretary of State can offer advice and assistance to any Community Interest Groups considering or involved in bidding for property that is an Asset of Community Value. http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/advice-service/

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