A British publican has barred 800 locals in the pursuit of a better chance to sell his pub.
Against his wishes, Steve Coxshall’s Duke of Hampshire in Hampstead was awarded status on the list of ‘Assets of Community Value’ (ACV).
A dubious honour, the ACV forces an owner to notify Council if they have intentions to sell – after which locals are then allowed six months to come up with the cash to buy it.
The ACV status came about after campaigning for same by the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum, which told the Mirror UK it was “delighted” with the decision by Camden Council to honour their request.
Coxshall has hit back, arguing the 300-year-old pub is not an asset of community value, because the 800 members of the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum are not allowed in.
“They are all barred from the pub,” said Coxshall.
“I bought the pub to save it. But if you’ve got a pub and there is an economic downturn, what is the point of an ACV if there is no business?”
A former stock broker and band manager, Coxshall went on to label the community group “hypocrites in cardigans” that “only drink half-pints”, with no stake in the business.
The pub enjoys a long and colourful history, including being a favourite haunt of the late actor Oliver Reed.