Bid launched to secure future of Saffron Walden pub

The Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden

The Railway Arms pub in Saffron Walden - Credit: Archant

A Saffron Walden campaign group has been formed in an attempt to protect the future of an historic pub in the town.

David Kelly, 52, has formed STRAP - Save the Railway Arms Pub - in order to be able to register the Station Road building as an asset of community value (ACV).

If the pub, which first opened its doors in 1865, is approved as an ACV, it will mean that it is subject to additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.

The application made by STRAP has already gained the support of Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council are expected to consider the proposal at their cabinet meeting in December.

The ACV listing means that owners must inform the local authority if they wish to sell the property, and if a group wants to buy the building, they can trigger a moratorium for six months, to give them a chance to raise money for the purchase.

However, the ACV does not require the owner to sell to a community group, or at a discounted price.

Mr Kelly, acting chair of STRAP, said: “First of all, I’d like to welcome the new landlord and landlady John and Fiona to the pub. I hope they are happy at the Railway and enjoy every success there.

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“STRAP, as a group, are concerned with the long term future of pubs in the town and have made the application to safeguard this historic building against possible sale to developers in the future.

“Pubs play a very important part in the community by injecting money into the local economy, supporting local charities as well as wider social community benefits.

“The Railway Arms is the only publicly accessible part of the historic railway line in the town, with the station building having been converted to residential use, and this access is worthy of protection.”

STRAP have organised a meeting about ACVs, the community right to bid, and what this might mean for pubs in the area on Monday, November 23 at the Friends Meeting House, High St, Saffron Walden from 6.30-7.30pm. Interested members of the public are invited to attend.