Time seems to have been called on a community project seeking to buy a Peak District village pub – after its owners announced plans to sell it to a property developer.
Almost 200 villagers in Bamford pledged £187,000 in a bid to purchase the Anglers Rest, which they wanted to turn into a community hub with pub, cafe and post office.
The Bamford Community Society registered the pub as an Asset of Community Value under a new law passed in 2011.
They believed as a result that they had six months to raise the full asking price, and had a business plan and a further loan of £150,000 in place.
Villagers were concerned that the pub had seen 10 landlords in 10 years, and were also worried for the future of their post office.
But now they have discovered that owners Admiral Taverns have done a deal with a developer who is interested in building accommodation in the car park.
“We are shocked to have the rug pulled from under us like this,” said society member Liz Marshall.
“We are devastated.
“The developer bought the pub to close it down but now he has found he can’t do that. We’re checking all the avenues open to us to find out if what has happened is legal or not.
“We feel this could be a test case for the new law.”
Andy Clifford, of Admiral Taverns said: “We understand there will be some concerns about the future status of the pub and possible implications brought about by a sale.
“We have made arrangements for the community to meet the purchaser to ease any concerns about the pub’s future.”