Historic pub for sale with special stipulation

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 | BUSINESS SALE

An historic pub has been put up for sale with the stipulation that the new owners continue to run it as a pub and do not try to convert it into anything else.

The Church House Inn in Holne, south Devon, is a Grade II listed building on the edge of Dartmoor. The pub, which is believed to date from the 14th Century, is owned by a church charity which says the new owners must operate it as a pub.

The charity, which supports the Church of St Mary the Virgin in the village and has used rental receipts from the pub for its work, is now selling a 99-year lease of the property.

Matt Bettesworth of estate agents Bettesworths, told the Plymouth Herald: "It's a unique opportunity.

"The charity that owns it is keen to protect it as a pub, they don't want it changed into housing. It's refreshing that someone cares about keeping it going as a pub, rather than just taking the money and going."

The charity has owned the pub for centuries and is keen that it remains as a pub for the benefit of the community. It is looking for a minimum of £350,000 for the 99-year lease, and requires a £1-a-year peppercorn rent. This type of business sale can usually be bought via an ordinary business mortgage, according to the estate agents, and is known as an “effective freehold”.

It was once common practice for churches to own pubs but many of them have now been sold off.

Mr Bettesworth said: "It could have letting rooms too, but has to remain a pub. We are expecting plenty of interest in this one-off opportunity."

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