An iconic Sheffield pub where it is believed the rules of modern-day football were drawn up could once again be saved, after council leaders approved recommendations to award it asset of community value status for a second time.
Until late last year, the Plough Inn, on Sandygate, Crosspool, looked safe after campaign group Save the Plough and a mystery business person bid £435,000 for the building in an attempt to stop it falling into the hands of a developer and being turned into flats or a shop.
But in the eleventh hour the campaigners were outbid and former owners - Enterprise Inns, trading as Ei Group, which had claimed the premises was not sustainable as a pub - sold to a developer.
Until August last year the pub - which closed in 2016 - had been listed by Sheffield Council as an asset of community value, meaning it cannot be converted to another use or demolished without planning permission.
Now Councillor Jayne Dunn, Sheffield City Council's cabinet member for neighbourhoods and community safety, approved a recommendation by the authority’s planning board to award the Plough Inn asset of community value status for a second time.
It is hoped that this will secure the building’s future and hopes have been raised that the local community can determine what happens next with this historic building and former community hub.
She said: "I don’t want to see developers riding roughshod over the wishes of the local community – so I found it an easy decision to award the asset of community value status to the Plough."
Peter Duff, chairman of the campaign group fighting to save the Plough welcomed the announcement.
He said: "“I am thrilled by the decision reached and am grateful to Sheffield City Council for their action. Last January we had a fight on to stop the Plough becoming a Sainsbury’s – and we succeed. The fight this time was perhaps even harder, but by again awarding asset of community value status to the Plough I am really hopeful we can secure the Plough’s future – just as the residents of Sandygate have asked for.”
The decision once more means that the building cannot be demolished, and hopes have been raised that the developer will pull out and the community will be able to restore the pub to its previous glory.
Labour Councillor for Crookes and Crosspool Craig Gamble-Pugh said: “It’s fantastic that this decision has been reached. The fight now goes on to get the Plough up and running as a pub. It is such a historically important place – its grounds are where the rules of modern day football were first drawn-up over a pint! I know how much people in the area didn’t want to see it knocked down and to be instead back as it was before – a thriving hub for the community.”