Village pub once saved from demolition at risk again as homes plan faces approval

The Three Lions pub, in Netherfield Lane, Meden Vale. Credit Phil Shields
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

A community pub once saved from closure by a campaign run by locals could again be at risk of being developed into housing.

The Three Lions pub, in Netherfield Lane, Meden Vale, was protected against new plans in 2021 after a drive led to it being listed as an ‘asset of community value’.

This listing gave community groups six months to pull together funds and lodge a bid on the open market to use the building for societal purposes.

However, no such bid was lodged for the pub, which hasn’t traded since January last year and is described by the community as “run down”.

The agreement to list the building for a community bid then ended in March 2022.

It led to developers lodging amended housing plans for the pub again in May last year, with Mansfield District Council saying it had become “no longer viable”.

The applicant, Shape Land and Property Ltd, said at the time the pub would instead be demolished in favour of 41 affordable rental and rent-to-buy homes.

This would be split between 28 one-bedroom apartments, one two-bedroom bungalow, and seven two-bed and five three-bedroom houses.

Six objections were raised in a planning consultation, again objecting to the loss of the pub and the impact on the village.

Concerns included highway safety around the site’s close proximity to a school, alongside visibility issues near a pedestrian crossing.

Others said there had been “no community hub” since the pub closed, with its demolition to “take away the community facility and any chance of it opening again”.

There were also objections to local services getting “overwhelmed”, including medical services, GP practices and “oversubscribed” village schools.

The plans were also described as “not in keeping” with the surrounding area, including proposed apartments, with other concerns including anti-social behaviour and crime.

However, in reports, the applicant says it conducted its own viability assessment for the former pub.

This said the facilities were “considerably inferior to those required by a modern customer”, with a “lack of food offering” and a “general poor appearance”.

It added “stagnated” customer levels and reductions in drinking volumes led to a “significant fall in trade”, with investment of about £225,000 needed to bring the pub up to modern standards.

Amid plans to address other concerns, the authority says it will ask for financial contributions from the applicant.

This includes £22,216 to address local healthcare, £18,600 for bus stop improvements, £1,498 per home for a strategic highways plan and £1,100 per home for off-site public open space improvements.

The council’s planning department will tell councillors to approve the plans at its planning committee meeting on Monday, September 25.

In a report, the planning department said: “This is considered to be a balanced decision.

“Whilst the loss of the public house would result in harmful social impacts, the applicant has submitted information to substantiate the loss.

“The benefits of the additional affordable housing are considered to be substantial and in this case would outweigh the harm identified.

“As such, it is recommended permission be granted.”

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