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Last minutes donations boosting pub appeal

The appeal to Save the Thorold Arms has just seven days to raise £45,000 to meet a deadline for them to buy the pub.

But the final week has been boosted by the Planning Inspectorate dismissing an appeal against South Kesteven District Council refusing a plan to convert the pub in Marston into a home.

Planning inspector Rachael Bust cited her decision on local and national planning policies protecting local services and community facilities.

Her judgement said the appeal, made by Darren Timms of Domestic Transformations, had failed to supply financial details, including accounts from former owners of the pub, to show it was no longer financially viable.

By contrast, the Thorold Arms Community Benefit Society had presented a business plan, marketing plan, financial forecasts and risk analysis.

“This provides cogent evidence, based upon realistic assumptions that the facility could demonstrate viability. Moreover, at the time of my site visit I noted a poster giving a position statement of the funds raised, as of June 18, 2018, this further underlines the community’s continuing intentions,” Rachael said.

She added: “From the evidence submitted by TACBSL, the interested party comments submitted in the planning application and the fact that the premises are registered as an Asset of Community Value, leaves me in no doubt that there is local support for the re-opening of the Thorold Arms as a community facility. In the absence of any comprehensive counter-evidence, I give this information significant weight in the determination of this appeal.”

Pub campaigner Mike Allen told the Journal the committee and residents of Marston and Houghton are “absolutely thrilled” at the decision. But he warned time was running out to meet a deadline to buy the pub from owner property developer Paul Barmby that had been agreed.

To date, a share issue has raised around £165,000, but £210,000 is needed. To help, donate via websiteat www.save.thethoroldarms.co.uk/

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