Seven Stars Inn: ‘Help us find a buyer to save pub’ say owners

The owners of a pub in Aberedw have called for the community to save it from closure.

Ian and Patricia Evans applied for planning permission to turn the pub into a house but Aberedw Community Council has objected to the plans to convert the Seven Stars pub.

A statement read on behalf of Mr and Mrs Evans at a community meeting earlier this month said: “To those that have shouted loud with their criticism, we would hope you could speak just as loudly to save the pub and help us to find a buyer who will love it as much as we have done.

“Better still actions speak louder than words. You can start a project to keep the Seven Stars as a community pub.

“We cherish our lovely pub with its many local characters. We want it, more than anything, to continue being a pub and serve the community, near and far. We cherish the memories and history it holds and how the community pulls together and looks out for one another.”

Mr and Mrs Evans bought the pub in 2004 and saved it from closure. Patricia has lived in the area all her life and Ian had his first legal pint in the pub. But after three unsuccessful attempts to lease it out, they have decided to convert the pub into a house.

“Unfortunately, for a year now, we have been financing a ‘black hole’ and, clearly, that cannot go on. We have had to invest our time and money, in excess of £60,000, in bringing the pub back to its former glory. We applied for consent of use as an alternative option because of the lack of progress to sell or lease.

“There is no income coming in but, every month, we have to find money to pay mortgage payments, business rates for the pub, council tax for the cottage, buildings insurance and utility standing charges, even though no services are being used. We have had to pay all of those costs for a whole year on top of costs of the court case and the bailiffs and of cleaning up and refurbishing the pub.

“We are of an age now where we want to be able to spend more time with our children and grandchildren all of whom live out of the local area and we cannot give the time and energy needed to work the pub again.”

Seven Stars Inn: Aberedw community has bid accepted to buy the only pub in the village

A community’s bid to save its local pub has succeeded after its offer was accepted.

The Seven Stars Inn, a centuries old pub in Aberedw, near Builth Wells, has been saved by a group of locals after it was put on the market less than six months after it re-opened.

In June 2018, an application to convert the pub into a home was rejected by planning officers and then in September 2018, the pub re-opened under new ownership. Less than six months later it was back on the market for £275,000.

In a post on Facebook, the Save The Seven Stars Inn campaign group announced the “good news” about bringing the village pub back to life.

It added: “Rumours abound but the position is that a group of community-based people have joined together and made an offer for a community buy out of the pub, which has been accepted.

“To this end we have registered a company and are in the process of putting together a business plan together with a funding package to cover the purchase and start-up costs.

“It’s very early days yet, but we hope to continue with regular updates through this page and locally to keep everyone informed so watch this space. We are hopefully looking forward to your involvement and to all of your renewed support and custom.”

Since the news of the community takeover was announced on Monday, March 3, there has been overwhelming support for the new venture.

“Hooray!” Katie Barstow, of Fforest Fields Caravan and Camping Park, said.

“This is great news and well done to everyone involved. Our customers love the ‘walk to the pub’ and are going to be delighted to know it will be opening again!”

Gaynor James added: “Fab news…well done to you locals, whoever you may be.”

Builth Wells Rugby Club said: “Great news regarding the future of Seven Stars Inn. Wishing the new owners all the best for the future.”

An open meeting giving an update on what has been done so far will be held at Aberedw Church Hall on Tuesday, March 12, at 7.30pm, following the Aberedw Community Council meeting.

Seven Stars Inn: Rescued Aberedw pub serves its first pint

A centuries-old pub that was saved by locals has served its first pint after reopening.

A group of Aberedw residents chipped in to buy the village’s only pub, The Seven Stars Inn, after it was put up for sale less than six months after it was reopened.

Less than a fortnight after picking up the keys to the building, a new chapter began for the historic pub as it opened its doors for the first time as a community-run venture on Friday, April 26.

A Campaign for Real Ale group based in Radnorshire has praised locals for saving the pub that was at the heart of the community.

“We are very pleased that this historic pub has been saved by the community and has a safe stable future,” said Dave Gill, from Radnorshire CAMRA.

“It has been badly missed since it closed. Now there is somewhere for local clubs to meet and for birthday celebrations to get together. Various local businesses can again use it, with campers and walkers stopping for meals.”

He added: “Local pub ownership is an increasing trend across the UK, as villagers find there is no heart to their community.”

The Seven Stars Inn very nearly closed for good in 2018 after its previous owners applied for planning permission to convert the building into a house.

An online campaign started in a bid to find a new owner to help save the pub that has served as a community meeting place for hundreds of years.

Radnorshire CAMRA says Wales should follow England’s lead by allowing communities to apply to their council to have a building listed as an “asset of community value”.

Mr Gill said: “In England, before a pub demolition or change of use is applied for, the local council can list it as an ACV (Asset of Community Value) to give locals a chance to buy it.

“In Wales there is no such scheme, so a viable pub can be turned into housing, even if it is the last one in the village, which very nearly happened to this one.”

He added: “The Senedd has been promising to safeguard these village amenities, but ‘it’s being considered’ is as far as they have got for at least 12 years.”

By Anwen Parry @AnwenParryCT