THREE historic north Lancashire pubs could be granted a protective status to safeguard their future.
Silverdale Parish Council is applying to register the Royal Hotel, Silverdale Hotel and Woodlands Hotel as ‘community assets’ under the Localism Act 2011.
If granted by Lancaster City Council the status would mean the parish council could delay any potential sale of the sites to put in a bid themselves.
In the event the venues are ever up for sale, the community would have six months to put in their own bid, although there is no guarantee it would be successful.
The Royal Hotel closed in 2010 and plans by owner Michael Holgate to convert the site into houses in 2012 were met with fierce opposition from locals.
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Chair Terry Bond said the parish council expected a planning application ‘any time now’ to reopen part of The Royal as a pub.
“We haven’t seen the plans yet but we are in support of getting it up and running again in the centre of the village,” said Mr Bond.
“There are campaigners who would like to see the whole thing reopened as a hotel but we realise that that is not economically feasible.”
The decision to request that the pub be registered as a community asset was made in June after a resident expressed concern ‘that the site is perceived to be a development plot’.
Mr Bond said: “We decided that we would also try to register the Woodland Hotel and the Silverdale Hotel in the event that they ever do come up for sale.
“The Silverdale is a listed building owned by a brewery and the Woodland has a year-on-year tenancy so we wanted to safeguard them both.”
At a meeting on July 7 parish councillors voted to apply for registration of the Silverdale Hotel and the Woodlands Hotel as community assets on the grounds that “they offer employment, act as social meeting places and provide function rooms.”