AN at risk pub could be classed as an “asset of community value” by Bradford Council.

In December 2018 The Sun Inn in Cottingley, one of the only drinking establishments in the village, shut its doors.

A few months later a planning application for the conversion of the pub building into eight flats, and the construction of 10 townhouses on the wider site, were submitted to Bradford Council by Sun Inn Developments.

A decision on that application has yet to be made.

On Wednesday the Council’s Shipley Area Committee will decide whether to building can be listed as a “asset of community value.”

The application was made last Summer by a group called Save The Sun Inn, and if approved could prevent the building from being sold without the local community first being consulted and given the chance to buy the building themselves.

Over 200 people object to March Cote Lane development in Cottingley

The plans to re-develop the pub site have attracted a large amount of objections, with many in the village claiming the conversion to residential would lead to a major loss for Cottingley.

There has been a pub on the site of the Sun Inn for over four centuries.

One objector, Clive Harrison, wrote to the Council saying: “A public house has been on this site for at least four hundred and fifty years and so The Sun Inn is of historic interest to the village of Cottingley and the nation.”

Save The Sun Inn’s application to make the pub an asset of community value says the pub has proved a vital community hub, and was even used by Mel Gibson during the filming of Fairytale: A True Story - based on the Cottingley Faeries hoax.

It says a large portion of the community would like to see the pub re-opened as a food-led pub, meeting place, and possibly a bed and breakfast.

Members of the Shipley Area Committee, which meets in Shipley Town Hall at 6pm, will be told that the application meets all the criteria for an asset of community value, and recommend that the nomination of the Sun Inn be approved.

What does being listed as an asset of community value mean?

The listing of land or property as an Asset of Community Value has the effect of preventing owners from disposing of their listed property without first notifying the Council of their intention to sell.

The notification of intention to sell triggers a six week moratorium on disposal during which local community groups and parish councils are able to express an interest in bidding for the property.

If no expressions of interest are received, the owner is free to dispose of his property at the end of the six week period.

“If an expression of interest is received the initial six week moratorium extends to six months to allow community groups and parish councils to prepare to bid for the property or to negotiate with the property owner.

At the end of the six month period the owner is able to sell the property to whoever they want and by whatever means they wish.

If the property is not sold within 18 months of the notification of intention to sell the disposal process must start again.

Once sold, the property is removed from the list.

However, the listing does not allow community groups to buy a property at a reduced price.