Plan to reopen York pub is opposed – by the owner

How the pub looked as the Bay Horse in 2012. Photograph © Google Street View

Plans to list a closed pub as an asset of community value – and reopen it to customers – have been opposed by the owner of the building.

The Murton Arms pub, formerly The Bay Horse, in Murton, is currently closed.

Murton Parish Council is now asking City of York Council to list the pub as an asset of community value – which would give the community an opportunity to buy the building if it goes up for sale.

The parish council wants to form a group to buy the pub and reopen it.

But the current owner has hit out at the plans – saying they worked hard to revamp the pub and make it successful.

And villagers were given an opportunity to buy the pub when it went on sale in 2016 – when the council previously listed it as an asset of community value. But it was purchased by the current private owner instead.

Resume trading

And the pub as it looked in 2019. Photograph © Google Street View

Cllr Nigel Ayre will be asked to consider listing the pub as an asset of community value again at a meeting tomorrow, Friday.

The parish council says: “As The Bay horse was the only public house available to the community it was previously listed as ACV when put up for sale by Enterprise Inns three years ago.

“The present owner bought the property, change the name to The Murton Arms, then closed the pub after a short period, renting the upstairs accommodation privately.

“In response to public feeling the parish council is now in the process of forming a working party to pursue purchase of the property to resume trading as a pub on behalf of the community.”

‘Not viable’

Cllr Nigel Ayre must make the decision

But the owner has objected, with a report saying: “She states that the property was refurbished to a high standard including decking to the front of the pub and many hours were spent by friends, family and tradesmen on it.

“Despite hard work and best endeavours, and significant financial outlay, she advises that the public house proved not to be a viable concern and with only 800 inhabitants in Murton there is only a very small catchment and relies on footfall and walk-ins.

“Concerted efforts were made to attract customers. Despite free offers, discounts, a website and facebook account, sufficient trade could not be attracted, she advises.”

Nevertheless the report recommends the pub is listed because the application meets the basic criteria for listing.

The virtual meeting takes place at 3pm and can be watched at the City of York Council YouTube page.