Three Rivers District Council has won a legal battle over the future of a vacant pub building in Oxhey.

The owner of The Pavilion, in Green Lane, had appealed against the district council’s decision to list the former golf course pavilion as an 'asset of community value' (ACV) in 2021, which would give residents the opportunity to buy it.

Pavillion (Watford) Ltd bought the property in 2013 and leased it as a pub until 2018 when it shut it "for refurbishment" and has sat vacant since.

ACV status gives community groups a protected timeframe to raise funds to collectively purchase a local asset, but the property owner claimed the listing was aimed at obstructing future development.

In his decision on May 29, Judge Neville dismissed the appeal as he concluded the building was “validly nominated”.

The Pavilion was first built for the Oxhey Golf Course in the 1930s, which was acquired by Three Rivers and became the Oxhey Playing Fields when it closed in 1952.

The building was leased to Whitbread in 1990, which operated a pub there until Pavillion (Watford) Ltd bought the property.

It secured planning permission for front and rear extensions in May 2018 and closed it later that year for refurbishment, but no building work started on the extensions.

A Three Rivers District Council spokesperson said: “After rigorously defending itself at the tribunal, the council is pleased that the judge dismissed the appeal.”