Uncertain future for Cannock pub after sale to undisclosed buyer

A pub in Cannock which was threatened with closure last year, sparking a campaign to save it, is being sold to a new owner with its future looking uncertain.

Uncertain future for Cannock pub after sale to undisclosed buyer

The Marston's owned Pied Piper pub, in Pye Green Road, is being sold to an undisclosed buyer, with the sale due to be completed next month.

Future plans for the pub have not been revealed.

It comes after Marston's had agreed in principle to sell The Pied Piper to developers HB Villages, which wanted to replace the building with 16 flats for young adults with learning difficulties.

But the plans were turned down by Cannock Chase District Council's planning committee last year.

Marston's spokeswoman Alice Holden-Brown said: "We are actively looking to retain the licensees, Martin and Julie, within the Marston's estate.

"The sale is due to complete in mid February."

Licensee Julie Cooper, who took up the role at the pub with her partner in 2013, said: "We don't know what is going to happen to the pub now. We've been told the final date is February 11.

"They are trying to find us somewhere else to go."

When Marston's announced plans to sell the pub last year, drinkers started a petition urging bosses to have a rethink.

They said it was a 'vibrant community pub' home to sports teams, and actively involved in charity fundraising.

Customers successfully applied to have the pub registered with the council as an 'asset of community value'.

A petition to save it was signed by 600 people.

Campaigner Nigel Moore said the pub had been at the centre of social life in that area of Cannock for almost 60 years, hosting many events, wedding parties, anniversaries, funerals.

It was the first time the legislation, brought in under the Localism Act more than two years ago, had been tested in Cannock Chase.

The building firm had argued that the accommodation, for vulnerable people, would be a community asset.

Chairman of Cannock Chase CAMRA, Malcolm Pearson, said it would be a sad loss if the pub was to close.

He said: "We understand it has been sold to some local businessman. We are not sure of the purpose the new owners will put it to.

"They are buying it from Marston's as a working pub with all the gear remaining in there. In some ways that is promising."

He said news of the sale would be a disappointment to the campaigners however who fought so hard to save the pub.

He added: "We got the previous application rejected by campaigning but this time there has not been a change of use applied for.

"This is a problem with lots of pubs. They are being sold and turned into mini supermarkets as a change of use is not needed.

"That's why lots of pubs are lost. It's very sad to see it go if it does. It's not set in stone however."

The pub remains open.

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