Villagers fight to save 150-year-old Mursley pub

Aylesbury Vale villagers are campaigning to save their community pub which has served locals for 150 years.

By James Lowson
Monday, 9th May 2022, 6:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 7:14 am

Residents of Mursley – near Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard – are campaigning to save their village pub, The Green Man in Main Street.

In October the pub stopped serving the local village, it has been boarded up and is currently up for sale on Rightmove.

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A look at the currently closed pub

Two bids to purchase the famous countryside pub have been rejected.

Under its current guise The Green Man pub has existed for 60 years, but a public house has existed in one form or another in that part of the village for roughly 150 years.

Since the pub’s closure citizens have formed the Green Man Community Action Group (GMCAG).

Currently, the pub is privately owned by a group operating under the name, Green Man at Mursley Ltd.

Contact information for the pub group is not widely available, London-based Drake & Company is selling the property on behalf of ownership.

Representatives from Drake & Company did not respond to multiple requests to speak with The Bucks Herald.

In 2020, the pub was granted Asset of Community Value (ACV) status by Bucks Council.

Buildings which receive this status are identified as places which are primarily used to benefit the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.

It also gives the community a ‘right to bid’ for the property and a six-month moratorium period to purchase the asset.

That expires on 19 May, the estate agent says it will no longer consider bids for the pub from June onwards.

Currently on Rightmove, Drake & Company advertises the pub as a property that could be transformed into a residential development.

Chairman of the GMCAG Duncan Jones said: “As an ACV, getting a change of use will be particularly difficult, given the strong feelings in the village to keep it as a pub, and the site is not included in the proposed Mursley Neighbourhood Plan as suitable for development.

“We have the financial pledges and support of the whole village for keeping it as a pub and community hub, and money raised early on in the campaign paid for a professional and independent valuation by a Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors who has undertaken 200 reports on public houses in the last four years.

"Our offers were based on his expert recommendations. Rural pubs are closing across the UK at a high level.

"We are determined to go on fighting to save our pub for the community.”

Campaigners received a boost this week when Buckingham MP Greg Smith lent his support to their cause.

Mr Smith said: “I will do everything I can to support Mursley residents fighting to save their village pub, The Green Man in Main Street, which has served the local community for more than sixty years.

Pubs are the backbone of local communities and hubs, where particularly rural communities, can come together.

“Since my election I have supported the Long Live the Local campaign and called on the chancellor to cut beer tax to support pubs in our local communities.

“There are lots of village pubs in Buckinghamshire and they are vital to the local economy as well as having an important role in helping to bring our communities together.”