Gloucestershire

Forest of Dean's Rising Sun pub to be bought by council

Rising Sun pub
Image caption The pub closed in October 2011, and was sold to developers in December 2012.

A derelict pub looks set to go into community hands after a council agreed a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

The Rising Sun was shut in 2012 and sold to a developer who wanted to turn it into housing, but was denied planning permission.

But now councillors at Forest of Dean District Council have voted unanimously to buy the hostelry in Woodcroft, Gloucestershire.

The campaign group Save Our Sun plan to run it as a community hub.

Members of the community have pledged £230,000 in donations, at least a proportion of which will be used to pay the council back.

The council has said it will pay whatever the building is valued at, which could be up to £300,000 but could be less.

'Public interest'

Worthy Developments, the building's owners for the last six years, has said they had "not received any formal contact from Forest of Dean District Council".

"We would welcome the opportunity to discuss terms to mitigate costs," a spokesman said.

A council report said the pub was in "very poor condition", with a leaking roof, vandalism and overgrown vegetation affecting it.

It said there was a "compelling case in the public interest" for the building to be again, with a covenant that it must be used to benefit the community.

Michelle Hayes, chairperson of Save Our Sun said the group was "delighted" with the CPO decision.

"I've lived in the village for 17 years and we met a lot of friends in that pub when it was open previously," she said.

The CPO is subject to government approval before a sale can go through, a process that can take six months if no objections are received.

Save Our Sun say they will also pay for any costs incurred by the council so no public money will be at risk.

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