Protecting Southwark’s Pubs – Listing Your Local as an Asset of Community Value

Assets of Community Value

One of the ways to give some protection to places like a pub is to apply to have it listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). This right was created under the Localism Act 2011. There are two main benefits of such a listing – a) if the freehold come up for sale, the organisation that obtained the listing must be offered a chance to work up a bid to buy it (if it wishes to) and b) if the owner of the property wants to change its usage that change of use has to go through the formal planning process.

To be designated an asset, it must further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community. Each local authority considers all nominations on this basis and publishes a list of successful sites.  

For fuller details click here.

With lots of pubs in Southwark still being sold by pub companies and owners in order to be to be knocked down and turned into residential properties, getting ahead of the game and getting a pub asset listed can give the community a far better chance of keeping a much valued local asset in use.

We have been approached by a number of local groups in Southwark as to how to do this and it is relatively simple to do if your pub is well used by local people. We thought it might be useful to create a guide as to how to do – the principles will be roughly the same in other local authorities but these suggestions are specific to the requirements that we have found Southwark asks community groups to meet. If there are any errors we apologise for that and will correct them as soon as we find out.

The full list of Assets of Community Value in Southwark can be downloaded here. 

How to Make an ACV Listing Application

As you can see there are just nine pubs on the list so there are a lot of pubs that are not on the list so far. While in no way a magic solution, getting your pub listed as an asset will save you tons of trouble if and when it does get sold and you have to fight the inevitable planning application that will follow – that is much much harder.

Re-opening of the Huntsman & Hounds PH - One of Southwark's ACV listed pubs

Step 1

To make an application you need to be a constituted local organisation such as a T&RA or an amenity/local society as you will make the application under the name of that organisation. When you send in the application you will need to attach a copy of your adopted constitution.

Step 2

Supporters. You need 21 names of people to support the bid - they must be registered to live in and vote in the borough and give their consent for Southwark Council to search the electoral register for their names - Get at least 25 names as some will fall foul of the criteria in some way. The file called ACV-XAsset-SAMPLENames-09Jan17 at the bottom of the page includes a) a template in Word of how you might list your supporters and b) some text you might use in an email to encourage people you know/are in touch with to provide their details for you to use. 

Step 3

The Form. Here is the place where the downloadable ACV form comes from. The one (it is a fillable and savable pdf) you want is:

The form is pretty straight forward but the key bit where you can build the story of your asset is PART C about the asset. In essence you need to convince Southwark of the uses (preferably current or in the past three years) that the asset is put to that makes it important to people in the area. There is a role to tell a little of the history of the building but it is the USES of it that are key. We have found that talking to people and making notes of what they say and then writing those up is the best way to get this story across. Right at the end of the form on page 4 it says that “You may attach photos, maps, plans and other documents to help identify the asset and to support your nomination”.

At the bottom of this webpage are two examples of the stories that the WS developed for two of its ACV applications a) The Beehive PH in West Walworth and b) the Elephant & Castle PH. Don’t be intimidated by any part of them (eg the historic research)it is the stories of people using it that are key.

Step 4

Obtain Land Registry documents for the property. It is a bit fiddly but you should be able to work it out! The search of the title and plan costs £6 and you will receive a downloadable pdf that you can include as one of your documents (see Step 5 below)

Step 5

Submit the application. You send the application as an email to:

We suggest the following attachments as a checklist and do ask for confirmation of safe receipt of the email:

1. A completed application form (see Step 3 - the fillable pdf)

2. The accompanying notes with any extra detail referred to in the application form (see Step 3) 

3. Names of the supporters of this application (see Step 2)

4. A Land Registry search for the site which will includes the Ordnance Survey site plan (pdf) (see Step 4)

5. A copy of the adopted constitution of your group (see Step 1)

6. Any other documents that you think might be valuable to the application.

That is about it! The trick is to set aside some time to do all this in advance of the awful day when someone tells you that your local has just been sold and the new owner wants to redevelop it into flats.

Image result for beehive pub walworth

ACV Listed Beehive PH in West Walworth

Walworth Society - January Meeting & 2016 Review

Happy New Year and all the best from the Walworth Society for 2017. News about our first meeting of the year this Thursday and a brief (pictorial) review of 2016.

1. Walworth Society Monthly Meeting – Thursday 5th January 7pm. Please find below the notes from our meeting on 5th January. Our next meeting is 7pm Thursday 2nd February.


2. Walworth Town Hall Redevelopment - Newington Library Building Meanwhile Use
Southwark Council is looking for a creative organisation to inhabit the Library building for a minimum of 2 years as the longer term plan for the Town Hall building continues to be developed.

For full details of the application form see


12th January 2017 - Walworth Town Hall - Update.

Below is an update from Cllr Mark Williams concerning Walworth Town Hall. Cllr Williams plans to come to a WS meeting in the near future to talk about progress on the Town Hall and the imminent meanwhile use of the Newington Library building. We will of course give full details of that meeting.

"I would like to thank you for taking part in our work last year to better understand the works needed to bring the Walworth Town Hall back into use as set out in our brief, we have found this exercise of real value and we appreciate the time that you all gave up to take part. As you may recall the best option coming out of those discussions and analysis was (in summary) to bring the library back into use, with basic structural works to the Town Hall and other buildings to allow temporary uses to take place, and for the East Wing to be renovated to 'capped services' and then either mothballed or put out to the market to find someone to bring it back into use (with the preference being for office or similar use rather than residential). Last year we set out that of the £20m budget £4m has already been spent and that to deliver the option set out above would require an additional £10m over and above what has already been committed (i.e. total budget of around £30m with more needed at a later date to complete the refurbishment of the Town Hall and other buildings). The option to deliver the full scheme worked up by Avanti is c£40m.
Following our work myself and officers presented these findings to cabinet colleagues and the senior officer team respectively. At this time there is not the additional money available in the capital programme to provide another £10m to deliver the scheme as set out above, in addition further funding would be needed to complete the works at a later point. Also with ongoing cuts to our revenue budget we need to be very mindful of the ongoing revenue costs of running services. We have therefore decided to consider the future of Walworth Town Hall as part of the council's wider capital programme which is due to be refreshed and come to cabinet in the Spring. Our capital programme is currently over committed and there is real pressure on other key projects such as our schools expansion programme to make sure we have enough school places. As part of this work we will also be reviewing the council's presence in Walworth and at the Elephant to make sure we have the best quality services available in the area.
In the meantime we are currently out to tender for meanwhile uses for the Newington Library section of the building for cultural or creative uses to get some public access and activity back on the site.
I am sorry that this is not the news you were hoping for, but we will continue to involve you all as we find a solution for this important and historic building."

3. Walworth Society - Review of 2016.

Many may not look back on with 2016 with enormous fondness but the WS had a very active and busy year and we are really grateful to all our members and people in Walworth for all their involvement. Here are just a few of the pictorial highlights of 2016.

January. Walworth Times - History of Walworth at the Coronet

February - Post Office Franchising Protest

April. Public Meeting in St Peter's Church to discuss the future of the Walworth Town Hall.

August. Re-opening of the Huntsman & Hounds PH

Summer and Autumn. High Street Challenge Animated Heritage Walks - West Walworth, East St, Walworth Road and the Old Kent Road & E&C

The Coming Year

For 2017 a big issue remains the future of the Walworth Town Hall where a decision has yet to be made about its future. With multi-billion pound developments going on around it both with Lendlease at Elephant Park and Delancey at the Elephant, it is vital for Walworth's future that we successfully make the case for the retention and refurbishment of the Town Hall.

 4. Cinema Museum - Valentine's Day Special!

Advance news from the Cinema Museum of a quirky evening on the evening of 14th February.
On the 14th of February The Cinema Museum is sponsoring and hosting a secret-cinema style event in partnership with Walking with the Wounded - a charity that helps rehabilitate wounded service personnel back into employment. All tickets sales from the evening are being donated directly to Walking with the Wounded.

If you haven’t been to the Cinema Museum yet this is a good opportunity. It is housed in the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin went as a child.

Download this file (WSMinutes-05Jan17.doc)WSMinutes-05Jan17.doc68 kB

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