Community bids to buy threatened Thornhill Pub

Regulars at The Bittern are hoping to use new legal rights to help them negotiate with the pub’s ownersLocal people from Thornhill and Harefield have launched a pioneering attempt to buy their ‘local’.

Regulars at The Bittern are hoping to use new legal rights to help them negotiate with the pub’s owners, Punch Taverns.

It is widely believed that Punch Taverns are planning to allow McDonalds to turn the 1930s style pub into a fast food restaurant. But 21 local people have asked the City Council to list the pub as a ‘community asset’ under the Localism Act. If they are successful, the pub would have to be sold openly, giving the community the chance to raise the money to buy it.

Backed by local MP John Denham, the group has also written to Punch Taverns asking them to open negotiation straight away.

Local spokesperson Glen McInnes says:

“This is a serious attempt to protect one of the few pubs remaining in the Thornhill and Harefield area. We know we would have to pay the market price and run it as a good business. But we believe there a lot of people who would be prepared to make a modest investment in the community company that would run the pub.”

Local councillor for Bitterne ward, Cllr Mary Lloyd, says:

“Local people are determined not to let the Bittern become just another of the pubs that have been lost to shops, flats or fastfood outlets in the past few years”

'Save the Bittern' campaigners have their photo taken by the Southern Daily Echo

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