Hope for the Future: Lads of the Village Pub Listed as Asset of Community Value

The Lads of the Village pub in Elizabeth Street, Stone has been officially listed as an asset of community value, bringing hope to the community in their efforts to save the beloved establishment.

Earlier this year, the pub was forced to close its doors, much to the dismay of its loyal patrons. But determined to keep the historic watering hole alive, the community banded together to apply for ACV status.

After a long wait, their efforts have paid off. Stone councillor and regular at the pub, Paul Cutler, expressed his delight at the news.

“I am overjoyed to announce that the Lads of the Village pub has been granted asset of community value protection by Dartford Council,” he said.

“This means that the building cannot be demolished or repurposed for the next five years, giving the community time to act if the owners decide to sell.”

While this does not guarantee the pub’s reopening, it does provide the community with a six-month window to respond if the owners do choose to sell.

Cllr Cutler also reflected on the sad state of the pub since its closure, noting the increase in illegal activities in the surrounding area.

“It has become a sad eyesore with boarded windows and doors, and has unfortunately attracted drug dealing outside,” he said.

The closure of the pub also had a significant impact on the community, with regulars now having to visit other venues and use alternate means of transportation to socialize.

The pub’s landlord, 80-year-old Sean Holland, and his wife Julie, who have been running the pub for 45 years, were given an eviction notice last year. The private company that manages the property reportedly intended to either demolish or renovate it.

Described as “the heart of the village” and a “community icon” by its regulars, the Lads of the Village pub holds a special place in the hearts of its patrons.

As an ACV, the community now has the option to make a bid to purchase the pub if the owner decides to sell. While it does not guarantee the pub’s preservation, it does add an extra layer of consideration in any future planning decisions.

The Lads of the Village pub remains an important part of the community, and with its new ACV status, there is renewed hope for its survival and revival.

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