Village given the change to buy shut pub
VILLAGERS are to be asked if they would consider paying extra Council Tax to buy the Bell & Castle pub as a hub for their community.
People living in Horsley – which has a church, primary school and volunteer-run community shop – lost their only pub several years ago.
A chequered history since then has now resulted in a private company redeveloping the site as three large houses and a new pub.
But at a specially-called public meeting at 2.30pm on September 21 in the Village Hall will see Horsley Parish Council raise the question of the possible pub purchase.
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Council chairman Coun Nick Hackett said the developers had said they wanted to sell off the new pub when it was finished for around £375,000.
The only way to raise the money might be to add it to householders' Council Tax bills, he said.
"It is likely to add £50 to £100 a year per Band D property for the next 50 years," he said.
"We might, possibly, be able to soften it by renting out the first floor of the pub as two apartments.
"It would be as remodelled hub, a focal point."
The community earlier tried unsuccessfully to buy the whole pub site.