The Aldershot Civic Society, Surrey Hampshire Borders (SHB) Branch of CAMRA and the Aldershot History Society are dismayed that the future of public houses in Aldershot is once again in the spotlight with news that the Royal Staff and La Fontaine are both on the open market. Once again we face the potential prospect of a part of Aldershot being left without a pub. Those in North Town who have started to use those pubs given the loss of their locals potentially face yet more disruption and loss of valuable community facilities.
We recognise that Fullers, current owners of the Royal Staff, have increasingly focused on food led pubs rather than traditional community based wet led pubs but are disappointed that they have gone back on the promise they made to CAMRA when they de-branded the pub, that they were committed to its future, and have chosen to discretely market it.
We believe that the Royal Staff is a viable pub having witnessed trade build up under the current management. We note with concern that, despite this, Fleurets are marketing the Royal Staff as suitable for “possible alternative use.” We have been notified of sightings of well-known local property developers in the vicinity of the pub since its listing on the Fleurets site. We will be taking all possible steps to try and ensure the business is sold as a going concern and not for redevelopment.
To this end we have today submitted an Asset of Community Value request to Rushmoor Borough Council covering the Royal Staff. If ACV status is granted then developers will have to prove that the Royal Staff is not a viable pub, under the terms the Rushmoor Pub protection policy, prior to being granted planning permission for any change of use, including those that are otherwise permitted without planning permission. This application has been supported by regulars at the Royal Staff who contacted CAMRA once the news broke and set about collecting the required signatures to submit their own ACV if required.
The Royal Staff has been serving the people of Aldershot and providing employment opportunities for around 150 years. We will do all we can in order to ensure that the Royal Staff can continue to serve the local community for another 150 years.
We will now turn our attention to the La Fontaine.
Save Our Staff Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/saveourstaff
Kevin Travers: Pubs Officer Surrey Hants Borders CAMRA firstname.lastname@example.org 0787 0411330
Justin Coll Chairman Aldershot Civic Society email@example.com