Effingham Parish Council is concerned to see the letter, dated 2 January, posted on the website of The Queen Stage, which appears to hold this Council responsible for the temporary closure of the public house. We have asked the proprietors to take the letter off their website, since it shows a complete misunderstanding both of the limited powers available to a parish council and of the Council’s position on The Queen Stage as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ (ACV).

Guildford Borough Council has designated the former Sir Douglas Haig public house and its surrounding land as an ACV, and only the Borough Council has the legal power to remove or vary that designation. The Parish Council originally requested the ACV designation in order to protect the pub business and the historic building for the benefit of the community into the future. We welcome The Queen Stage and hope it will continue to be successful.

Effingham Parish Council has no objection to the new houses themselves being removed from the site area of the ACV if the Borough Council decides that can be done within the constraints of ACV legislation. The Parish Council is NOT trying to block the plans for the new houses, but we do aim to ensure that the pub building and associated garden and parking spaces remain protected within the ACV boundary.

The Parish Council regrets that the proprietors of The Queen Stage have been unable to meet with us to discuss the ACV issue at a public meeting, so that residents can also participate in the discussion. We are pleased that the proprietors have now indicated they are willing to meet privately with Effingham’s borough councillor, parish councillors and a residents association representative to try and resolve this unhappy situation. The Parish Council will keep residents informed about progress in these continuing discussions.