Parish council moves to safeguard historic pub

Cllr Paul Kenndedy

Cllr Paul Kennedy

UPDATED: STRETTON Parish Council has taken an important step towards protecting a tiny village pub which has become the first in Warrington to be registered as an asset of community value.

They have successfully applied for the historic Ring O Bells pub at Lower Stretton to be listed as an asset of community value – despite an objection from owners Red Oak Taverns.

While the listing does not prevent the building from being sold, or re-developed for another purpose, it means the owner must inform the local authority if it intends to sell the property and that any local group can hold up the proposed sale for six months while they attempt to raise the money to buy it.

The parish council argued that the Ring O Bells was the only community asset in Lower Stretton, relying on its value as  a local meeting place and its reputation as a real ale pub using small, independent and usually local suppliers.

They claimed the pub had served the village for more than 170 years and was used by the local community for numerous activities include firework displays, Jubilee party, Mad Hatter’s tea party, Christmas Fayre, community daffodil planting project, etc.

Borough councillor Paul Kennedy supported the parish council’s application.

He said: “I think it is fair to stay that the Ring O Bells is a community asset that would only be missed after it had gone.”

Stretton Parish Councillor Jill Higgins, who led on the application said “We are thrilled that the application has been successful and that the local community will now have a say in the future of their local pub. It is so important that villagers have a place to come together and the Ring O’ Bells provides that for Lower Stretton.

Red Oak Taverns, who acquired the pub only last August, opposed the application. They argued that the lack of use of the pub by local people showed it was not a community asset and estimated that it sold only 70 barrels of beer a year, which was not sustainable.


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  1. All of us who put a value on the town’s heritage are steadfastly behind Stretton Parish Council in their desire to preserve the Ring O’Bells. I sincerely hope they are successful. But, we should be wary of expecting the official listing of that building as an undoubted community asset will afford it the protection it deserves, given the woeful heritage preservation record of previous successive councils and planning departments.
    Until planning approvals, predicated on the preservation of heritage components, start to hit developers’ pockets heavily whenever those preservation obligations are not complied with (for whatever reason – no ifs or buts so readily tolerated as they presently are), this town’s heritage will not be safeguarded as it deserves to be.

  2. Well done to Stretton Parish Council and others for trying to safeguard the Ring O Bells. If they have achieved it as being ‘listed as an asset of community value’ does that mean it’s just Locally Listed now though? Locally listed doesn’t really seem to count for much these days though.
    The Ship Inn at Walton was Locally Listed and look what happened to that, GONE in the bat of an eye although unintentionally and by accident if you believe what you read. Not forgetting the old Edwardian Stockton Heath Primary School opened in 1910, a lovely building both externally and internally, but the council themselves applied for and approved demolition of that.
    Nothing is safe these days and where there’s a will or need to ‘get rid’ it usually happens one way or another 🙁

    • Yes Dizzy; the latest example of standing back and letting the will facilitate the way are the circa 1700 barns in Thelwall. Allegedly the fire that all but destroyed them came about because they were being used as a site drying/messing room.

  3. If only 70 barrels of beer were being sold at the Ring ‘O Bells per year was an issue why did Red Oak Taverns buy the pub? As they bought it knowing it was not selling much beer they can hardly claim in future planning applications that it has now become unsustainable.

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