CAMPAIGNERS have collected almost 650 signatures to save a Brighton pub from being turned into flats.

The Rose Hill Tavern, Rose Hill Terrace, off London Road, Brighton, was sold by national pub chain Enterprise Inns, to Evenden Estates, a family-run chartered surveyor business.

Joanne Harris, of Evenden Estates, said the pub, which closed in May, would be divided into two flats if plans were given permission by Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, November 19.

Ms Harris said: “The pub was for sale on the open market. It had made a loss for eight years. We want the opportunity to turn it back into housing.”

The Rose Hill Tavern action group got the pub listed as an asset of community value (ACV) halfway through the sale.

Richard James, chairman of the action group, said: “We need people to help by registering their objections to this planning application.”

The planning application states: “Quite clearly, in more remote locations where there is less choice, the loss of a modestly sized pub could have a significant impact on the ability of the community to meet its day to day needs.

“However, in a busy central urban area, with a significant number of public houses nearby, the loss of the pub will not reduce the ability of the community to meet its day to day needs.”

The campaign group would like to run the Rose Hill Tavern as a community pub where the staff and neighbours are the shareholders.

Under the ACV, if Evenden Estates decides to sell the Rose Hill Tavern, the company will contact the council and the action group will have the opportunity to bid for it.

Dave Boyle, director of the Community Shares Company which supports community enterprises, said: “Pubs are not dying, they are being killed.

“Many are being put out of business by pub companies like Enterprise Inns.

“Some are closed down under the pretence of no customers but the reality is the value of the land.”

Mr Boyle said selling ownership to people in the community really makes a difference, as if residents have a share in ownership, they will drink there more.

Register your support or opposition to the planning application by searching for BH2014/03012 at the Planning Register page on