Delays to sale of The Full Moon pub in Wotton-under-Edge are causing health and financial woes for landlords
LANDLORDS of a failing Wotton-under-Edge pub say that delays in its sale have left them facing bankruptcy and suffering serious health problems.
Joe and Teresa Carley, who have run the Full Moon pub in Synwell for almost 10 years, are embroiled in a development battle over the future of the site.
Developers Hammonds Yates had hoped to work with Stroud District Council to knock down the pub and neighbouring council garages and build affordable housing.
Redevelopment work was scheduled to start next month subject to planning permission being granted.
However a group of concerned residents registered the Full Moon as a community asset in June, meaning no development can take place for at least six months.
The right for communities to halt development on irreplaceable sites was introduced in the Localism Act of 2011 with the aim of giving locals time to put together a bid and raise money to compete with private buyers.
Mr and Mrs Carley say that it has left them in limbo, facing huge uncertainty about their future.
"This Localism Act has powers that we can’t control," said Mr Carley. "They’ve got complete control of our lives. It’s like being handcuffed."
Last month Mrs Carley was hospitalised at Bristol's Frenchay Hospital for 10 days after suffering a serious stroke which doctors say was brought on by stress.
"The stress really gets to me," said Mrs Carley. "If we only knew we were going to be able to come out of this with some money."
The couple have poured their life savings into the business and are unsure how much longer they will be able to remain open while waiting for the sale of the pub.
"When the buyer came and said he wanted to buy it, I could have kissed him," explained Mr Carley, 60.
"It was a lifeline for us to walk away after nine years with something."
Mrs Carley, 57, added: "We’ve put our heart and soul into the place. We have no more money left. We’ve subsidised it as much as possible."
Rob Hammond, of Hammonds Yates, said they were waiting to see whether the community bought the site.
"The community has intervened and it’s up to them to see it through," he said. "If they don’t, we’ll probably buy it and develop it. I think that the landlords are quite happy to move on."
Synwell resident Tim Collins, involved in the community bid, said they wanted to buy the land, not the lease on the pub.
They have until December to make an offer to the landowner and are starting to organise raising the necessary money.
Mr Carley said: "They don’t want to pub to go, but then we don’t want to pub to go either. We didn’t put everything we worked for for 30 years into it for it to go down the pan."
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