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03 October 2013

The Honor Oak

The Honor Oak on St German's Road was one of Forest Hill's better pubs until recently. Unfortunately, the last tenants ran the pub into the ground and have allegedly stripped it bare - including removing all the radiators.

After being approached by several members of the Society who were concerned that The Honor Oak might follow the same fate as The Windmill and The Forest Hill Hotel and be converted into flats or a mini-supermarket, we recently applied for the Honor Oak to be listed as a community asset.

If approved, then should Punch Taverns decide to sell the property, the community will be offered the right to buy the building. If you'd like to get involved and hear about the journey, please join the mailing list at www.thehopeandhonor.com.

The table below summarises the ‘assets of community value’ nominating and bidding process in four simple stages.

Stage one: Identify an asset for nomination
If an eligible community or voluntary group thinks that a local asset meets the definition of an ‘asset of community value’ they can fill in an application form and ask the Council to list the property as an ‘asset of community value’. If the nomination meets the relevant criteria and is approved by the Council, the asset will be included on the list. A list will also be compiled for any unsuccessful nominations that do not meet the criteria.

Stage 2: The owner wants to sell their asset
If the owner wants to sell their asset they must notify the Council, which will then notify the community group that nominated the asset and publicise the proposed sale to the wider community. If within six weeks of informing the Council of their intention to sell their asset an eligible community interest group does not come forward, the owner is free to sell their asset for a period of eighteen months from the date that they notified the Council of their intention to sell the asset.

Step 3: A designated community group wants to bid for the asset
If an eligible community interest group does express an interest in bidding for the asset, this group or groups will be granted extra time to prepare a business plan and gather the finance needed to purchase the asset. All in all, the time-frame for groups to put together their bids is six months starting from the time the asset owner informs the Council of their intention to sell the asset.

Step 4: The point at which the asset is to be sold
The six month window of opportunity is only for eligible community interest groups to put their business plans together and gather necessary funding. Once the six month window has expired, the asset owner is free to sell their property to who they want. They are under no obligation to sell the asset to any eligible community interest group or groups who bid to purchase the asset.

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