Apologies for the lack of campaign updates this year so far! There’s been plenty going on, and here’s the latest news…
In October 2017, following withdrawal of a planning application for redevelopment, the Dyke was put on the market with Fleurets with an asking price of £1.35m. Because the building is listed as an Asset of Community Value, this allowed the community group the ‘Dyke Pub Preservation Society’ to express interest in buying the pub, triggering a 6 month moratorium to allow for fundraising as a community bid. Although the property was subsequently removed from the market, the moratorium had still been triggered, meaning the owners cannot sell to anyone other than a community group until 6th April 2018.
In December 2017, ‘To Let’ boards went up, and the ground floor of the pub building is currently listed with Carr and Priddle as two retail units. At the time of writing the ‘To Let’ boards remain up. Carr and Priddle have said offers to run the ground floor as a pub or wine bar would not be accepted as it would devalue the flats above.
There remains a lot of enthusiasm for a community bid and lots of work has been quietly going on behind the scenes by members of the Dyke Pub Preservation Society. A business plan is being prepared and a number of grants and a mortgage have been lined up. We have benefitted from expert advice from Dave Boyle of Community Shares and the Plunkett Foundation, and plan to launch a community share offer. The current asking price is causing some headaches when it comes to finances, because it is well above the valuation carried out in March 2017, when it was valued at £965k (this valuation was prior to building works including removal of the bar). We contacted the owners in January to see if they were still interested in selling and whether we could commission a second valuation to support our bid. The good news is they are still prepared to look at offers. The bad news is they want those offers to be in excess of £1.3m and would not agree to another valuation. So….. an awful lot of number crunching is going on at the moment. If anybody out there fancies helping with finances, fundraising, community grants and negotiations please raise a hand!
Other interested buyers
We have also spoken to a number of local businesses who are interested in taking on the building. We can’t go into too much detail about confidential conversations but we have been heartened by the interest and some offers made by interested parties. Although a community bid is being prepared, the general community feeling seems to be that we would be very happy to see the building taken on by a private owner, and would be only too pleased to be patrons rather than owners! The current owners cannot sell to anyone other than a community group during the moratorium period, but they are free to negotiate during this time. We know that since the pub closed back in September 2016 there have been a number of approaches from interested buyers, but unfortunately, so far the asking price is proving to be a sticking point….
Current planning applications
There are two live planning applications for 218 Dyke Road (The Dyke Pub) listed on the planning register. BH2017/04006 is a Listed Building Application logged on 5/12/17 requesting permission for various internal works, but also for reinstating a doorway and removal of the cold store. As external works are involved, works also require Planning Permission and this has been flagged up to the council. The Conservation Officer has requested further details from the applicant and a decision is yet to be made. The second application BH2018/00320 was logged on 1st February 2018, however the application was incomplete and is therefore invalid. We cannot see details of the proposals, but presumably it will include the removal of the cold store. Although this is of no consequence from a Listed Building point of view (it was part of alterations made in 2010), its removal would impact on the building’s usability as a pub, and replacing it would be an additional cost. The reason for its removal was not made clear in the application.
Quiz night – 14th April
We have booked Exeter Street Hall for another quiz night! Profits will provide funding for leaflets, professional fees, hall hire costs for pubic meetings, etc. The date is SATURDAY 14TH APRIL – put it in your diaries and look out for more details on Facebook and in your email inbox.
Keep up to date
Make sure you’re on the ‘Save The Dyke Pub’ email list by signing up here. We are always interested in hearing from people who can lend a hand in any way, big or small. There are a wide range of jobs – leaflet distribution, managing social media, applying for funds, helping with finances and viability studies etc etc etc! Please get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.