A controversial decision rejecting an application to protect a city centre pub has been challenged by opposition councillors.
The University Arms, which is owned by the University of Sheffield, was the subject of an Asset of Community Value (ACV) proposal by the Sheffield branch of The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
An ACV gives a local community the opportunity to bid, buy or take over the running of a facility or service which is considered to add value to the local area.
Councillors have now activated a ‘call-in’ to scrutinise the decision to reject the application. It is used in exceptional circumstances when it is believed that a decision is contradictory to the council’s ethics of reaching a verdict.
Kate Major, Chairman of CAMRA in Sheffield said: “We are doing this because the University Arms needs to be protected.
“We did everything that they wanted and the application was perfect.”
The branch even sought assistance from the council themselves in regards to submitting a strong ACV
“We must keep pushing; we are not going to give up yet.
“To be seen to just let this one slip is not really an option – everyone is very supportive of the ACV applications we have put in.
“We are lucky because we have the backing of those at the CAMRA headquarters.”
If an ACV application is successful, the premises cannot be converted or demolished without planning permission.
Under current redevelopment plans, the University of Sheffield have expressed an interest in knocking down the University Arms to make way for new facilities.
Ms Major added: “We follow very closely the pubs in the city. We are trying to get people out to pubs to solidify their worth and to bring them into the public eye, such as with the University Arms.
“The fact that we follow applications up shows how serious we are.”
In a 6-page letter from the University legal team objecting to the submission, CAMRA were accused of restricting the development of the site for the benefit of its staff and students.
IMAGE: Sheffield CAMRA branch chair Kate Major outside the University Arms