'There's a ray of light' - pub one step closer to being listed as community asset (From Times Series)
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The Castle, in Childs Hill, one step closer to being listed as community asset
Campaigners have vowed to not give up the fight to save a historic pub as it moved one step closer to being listed as a community asset.
The Castle Pub, in Finchley Road, Childs Hill, could be saved from demolition after Barnet Borough Council agreed to consider giving it protection.
After months of fighting their case, many campaigners were furious when The Bohemia, in North Finchley, was listed as a community asset - and asked why The Castle could not be afforded the same status.
During a full council meeting on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat councillor Jack Cohen said: “I welcome the council’s decision to list The Bohemia as a community asset.
“But why were my submissions for similar protection for the Castle Pub in Childs Hill rejected out of hand?”
Councillor Robert Rams, cabinet member for customer access and partnerships, said: “Where there is merit, I will list a pub as an asset of community value.
“I did so in the case of the Bohemia, as I believed it was unique in the context of this local area. An expression of interest to list the Castle Pub was received on December 1.
“This was rejected by officers as it did not meet the minimum criteria. An updated bid has now been received.”
Cllr Rams promised to make his final decision by March 6, to allow him time to review the situation.
The popular pub, formerly known as the Castle Inn, is older than the Finchley Road, which was built in the 1820s as a toll road.
It dates back over 250 years and was used as a toll gate until 1871, and an English Heritage blue plaque commemorates the building's historic significance.
But the pub has been boarded up by its owners since it closed two years ago, and neighbours are desperate for it to be brought back into use.
Last year, the Childs Hill Labour Action Team also launched a petition in an attempt to persuade Barnet Council to save the site.
Childs Hill councillor Cohen says the popular rock music venue helped create a “great” atmosphere in the area.
He told the Times Series: “I am pleased Cllr Rams is considering this because I got the cold shoulder the first time around.
“Where we thought the doors were closed, there’s now a ray of light shining through, but there’s a long way to go.
“It’s important for the community to have pubs, they are the focal point for local people. It brings local people in to the area too, which is what helps our economy.”
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