Village Survey - The Station Pub
  • The Parish Council wants to buy the village pub

    The Parish Council believes that having a working public house at The Station is an asset to our local community. Knebworth is a large village and is ear-marked for growth. A pub on this site provides more opportunity for our community to gather, socialise and entertain. We need support from the parish community to make a bid to secure its future. Please see below for further information or the Knebworth Parish Council web site for full details.

    The survey is only open to residents of the parish aged 18+ so we need to collect the below data to verify  this. The Parish Council privacy policy is available on the council’s website. The data collected is to obtain residents’ views and will not be used for any other purpose. 

    The survey closes on Friday 7th June 2019.

  • Background

    The Station public house is a prominent historic landmark in the centreof Knebworth. It closed in February 2017 and has been split into two sites. Planning consent has been granted to convert the garden area into apartments, with the building remaining as a pub.

    The current owner has put the pub building up for sale. We are currently in the middle of a six-month moratorium period where only community groups can attempt to purchase it and preserve it for the community. This includes the SOSPUB campaign and Parish Council. 

    The Parish Council have prepared a business plan and received some interest from potential tenants already. Our initial plans indicate that this is a viable small business proposition, despite the loss of the garden. The Parish Council and SOSPUB group have been working together to try and save the pub since its closure. SOSPUB group would seek to run it as a ‘non -profit’ community pub. The Parish Council would buy it and let it to a commercial operator. We believe that both community groups need to make efforts to create viable proposals now and attempt to buy it.

  • The proposal

    Central government makes funds available to Parish Councils for capital projects. We can apply for a low interest long-term loan of up to £500,000 repayable over many years. Permission is granted if central government are satisfied, based on a business plan, that the loan has a community purpose, support, and will be repaid. 

    The current owner cannot be forced to sell it to any community group, but we can try. If we are successful, we would then lease the premises to a commercial pub operator as a ‘Freehold pub offer’.

    The Parish Council seeks to borrow the money to buy the pub and will also cover some initial renovation costs. The annual rent will pay off the loan. Therefore, loan repayments would not depend on Parish Council revenues. Residents should not expect a precept rate increase in their council tax for the purpose of repaying the loan, and there is no plan to do so. In the unlikely event that we cannot find any tenant or sell the pub there is a future risk that the precept would have to increase to cover costs. For context, however, the entire Parish Council precept is only 4% of total Council Tax bills (£74.71 precept for 2019-20 on a Band D property). 

    We cannot say exactly how much we are willing to spend as we plan to negotiate with the owner. The pub is on the market for £595,000, but we believe that its value as a business is less than this. 

  • *Should Knebworth Parish Council borrow funds to purchase The Station pub as public house and village asset?
  • *Your postcode
  • *Your house number or name

That's all, folks!