The sale of a Brighton pub has been put on hold for six months after the council listed it as an “asset of community value”.
The Rose Hill Tavern, in Rose Hill Terrace, closed on Sunday (18 May).
Enterprise Inns, the owner of the 144-year-old pub, put it on the market. And Fleurets, a firm of chartered surveyors with an office in Boundary Road, Hove, put up a “for sale” sign outside.
It gives the group six months to put together a bid although Enterprise is under no obligation to accept it.
The company is believed to want to turn the property into flats.
Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, chairman of the council’s Planning Committee said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to move quickly to grant the pub the community asset status it deserves.
“The Rose Hill is a charming public house with many interesting features, attested by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
“I’m happy to say that the public house will now also be considered for our local list of non-designated heritage assets.
“Pubs are still at the heart of the community in our city and although we haven’t seen the vast quantity of pubs close that other cities in the south east have faced, I have a genuine concern that we are at a tipping point.
“I look forward to seeing proposals from the campaign group for keeping the Rose Hill Tavern in community hands.
“While this reprieve is of course welcome, the government’s Localism Act that sets out this process remains deeply flawed.
“We have only a pause to the sale of the pub with, sadly, no guarantee that it will stay in community hands.
“The government is really only paying lip service to the needs of the community.
“They’re offering only a community right to bid for and not right to buy the pub – while giving a free rein to developers.”
“This is an initial six-week interim period, during which a community group must express interest in bidding.
“If one does, there is a six-month moratorium beginning from when the asset is put up for sale, ie, including the six-week interim period, to allow a community interest group to put a bid together.”
Fleurets currently has four other Brighton pubs on its books, including the Windmill, in Upper North Street, and the Preston Brewery Tap in Preston Road.
It is also marketing the lease for the Blind Tiger Club, in Brighton, for £150,000, plus six hotels and two local restaurants.
Enterprise is looking for people to run the Smugglers, in Ship Street, Brighton, and the Grey’s, in Southover Street in Hanover.
The keys to the Rose Hill Tavern are due to be handed back to Enterprise on Friday (23 May), according to the Save the Rose Hill Tavern Action Group’s Facebook page.
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