A CAMPAIGN to have a Salisbury pub protected as a community asset has received backing from the city’s area board.

Members agreed that they would recommend to Wiltshire Council that the Duke of York pub in York Road be classified as an “asset of community value”.

If the pub is listed as a community asset, it will mean that for five years, community groups will have a six-month window in which they can put together a bid to buy the pub, should the owners, currently GRS Pubs Ltd, decide to sell it off.

The application to register the pub as a community asset was submitted by The Duke of York Public House Community Group, which formed an action committee last November.

The pub has been restored and run for the last three years by tenant Matthew Dean, who is a city councillor. He said he was pleased with the area board’s recommendation.

He said: “The purpose of listing is to protect the Duke of York as a pub and give an element of security, should a planning application be submitted to demolish or redevelop it.”

He added that there was no reason to think that would happen soon and he was planning to stay as the tenant. However, should it happen if the pub was listed, he would either bid for the pub himself or join others in doing so and it would continue to be run as a traditional, community pub.

Documents submitted with the application to Wiltshire Council, which must be decided by February 7, say the pub is well-patronised, attracts local community groups and is in the Campaign for Real Ale’s Good Beer Guide.

The application says: “The Friends of the Duke of York community group believe the pub meets the needs of differing communities by maintaining a healthy and varied choice for the consumer in the locality. The continued use of the building as a pub is paramount.”

Although community groups can put a bid together in the six-month window, the pub’s owner is not obliged to sell to them.