Published: 13:35, 04 July 2019
| Updated: 14:26, 04 July 2019
A Maidstone pub has been registered as an asset of community value for a second time - protecting it from being sold and redeveloped for the next five years.
The Walnut Tree in Loose was the first in the County Town to be granted the status back in 2014, nullifying any change-of-use applications that may have been made.
In applying to re-register it, comprehensive evidence was provided by The Walnut Tree Preservation Group showing the 168-year-old pub is still well used and remains an integral part of the community.
The evidence included details of eight regular sports teams that use the pub, three local groups which regularly use it as a meeting facility and monthly events.
The application also included a list of names and signatures from 121 local residents who supported the nomination, as well as letters of support from local groups and clubs.
Landlord Cliff Burke said: “We are very proud of the support of the locals. We actively continue to help make it an inclusive pub for all age groups and walks of life to serve the local community.”
Council leader Martin Cox added: “We are pleased to be able to demonstrate our support for this much valued local pub and the community it serves.
“We welcome requests from anyone who would like to nominate places and spaces in their communities that are important to their local community.
"Libraries, community centres, pubs, village shops or green spaces that are of value to the community they serve can be nominated as an asset of community value.
"Once certain criteria are met, we can then consider the request.”
The Localism Act introduced a Community Right to Bid for Assets of Value to the Community, meaning if the pub ever comes up for sale, locals have up to six months to raise the funds to bid for it themselves.
The aim is to ensure that buildings and amenities can be kept in public use and remain an integral part of community life.
For more information about how to nominate an Asset of Community Value, click here.