Henry Jenkins listed as Asset of Community Value

 

The Henry Jenkins has FINALLY been listed as an Asset of Community Value by Harrogate Borough Council, following a sustained, high-profile campaign by the Save the Henry Jenkins group.

This is a very significant development – and a decision that we believe was the right one given the overwhelming evidence pointing to the value of the Henry Jenkins to the local community … and its future potential.

The decision means that this much-missed pub, which has been a hub of the community in Kirkby Malzeard for many generations,  will have special status as a community asset for the next five years. This will make planning approval for change of use or redevelopment less likely. It also means that if the owner should decide to sell it, he must notify the council and allow time for a possible community  buyout. In this event there would be a six-month moratorium to allow plans for a community bid to be put together – during which time the pub could not be sold to any one else.  “Permitted Development Rights” – which would have allowed the status of the Henry Jenkins to be downgraded to “offices” under a loophole in planning law – have been removed.

Plans will now be progressed towards the idea of a community buyout, with the widest possible involvement of people in Kirkby Malzeard and surrounding parishes. Recently a fact-finding tour was organised of other successful community-owned pubs and momentum has been slowly building, with informal pledges already being made to buy community shares. One of the first objectives is to secure start-up funding from the Plunkett Foundation, a charity that distributes Government grant aid for community buyouts and offers practical advice. Later in the year a public meeting will be called to outline options for the possible future purchase, renovation and reopening of the Henry Jenkins.

There is still a long way to go before a pint of beer can once again be poured in the Henry Jenkins and nothing can be taken for granted. However today’s decision is an important milestone in the campaign to save this historic pub.

* THE Henry Jenkins was originally nominated as an ACV in December, 2016,  but in March listing was refused by Harrogate Borough Council on the grounds that because the pub had been closed for a period of years, it had lost its connection with the local community.

A new nomination was submitted earlier this year with important new evidence including letters of support from ten community groups who used to use the Henry Jenkins – and would like to do so again. Evidence was also submitted from some of the 95 individuals who registered objections to the planning application for demolition/redevelopment (refused by the council on February 28th) . The Save the Henry Jenkins group has contacted senior councillors and council executives and enlisted the support of Harrogate & Ripon CAMRA, the Henry Jenkins Memorial Society, Skipton & Ripon MP,  Julian Smith, and Kirkby Malzeard ward councillor, Margaret Atkinson.  The council’s refusal of ACV listing – and the campaign to save the Henry Jenkins – has also attracted  publicity on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio York, Stray FM, the Ripon Gazette, the Northern Echo and the Yorkshire Post, which reported in March that Harrogate had one of the worst records of any council in the region for approving ACV nominations.

The council’s official letter confirming the listing of the Henry Jenkins as an ACV under the 2011 Localism Act  states “there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building … furthered the social well-being or social interests of the local community” and “it is realistic to think there is a time in the next five years when there could be … use of the building .. that would further social well-being or social interests.”

Parish Council to reconsider stance over future of Henry Jenkins

Kirkby Malzeard Parish Council has agreed to reconsider its response to the nomination of the Henry Jenkins as an Asset of Community Value, following pressure from parishioners.

The Parish Council, which in February supported the unsuccessful planning application for the pub’s demolition, drew up its draft response to the latest ACV nomination last week. This argued that the prevailing view in the village was that while many felt the building should be saved, the Henry Jenkins should not be reopened as a pub.

However at a packed parish council meeting in the Mechanics – attended by 40 members of the public – speaker after speaker demanded that the parish council reconsider. A snap poll was taken of people in attendance and all but one said the ACV nomination should be supported. Parish council members then voted to defer their decision on what stance they should take.

A great deal now rides on the success or otherwise of the latest Asset of Community Value nomination – and the Parish Council’s eventual response could be a deciding factor. If the ACV is refused, the owner of the Henry Jenkins may be able to exploit an anomaly in planning regulations called “Permitted Development Rights.” This has allowed developers to change the use of pubs to offices or shops – without the need for planning permission – leading to the loss of scores of pubs up and down the country. Following widespread criticism, this loophole was closed on May 23rd when a change in the law removed Permitted Development Rights for pubs. However it appears that in this case because Mr Fielder had already notified the council of his intention to change the use of the Henry Jenkins to “offices,” he may still be able to take advantage of Permitted Development Rights.

This raises the prospect of the Henry Jenkins becoming the last pub in England to be lost through exploitation of a widely discredited legal anomaly! However if the Asset of Community Value nomination is successful, Permitted Development Rights will immediately be removed.

A decision from Harrogate Borough Council is expected later this month.

Inspirational! Local Community-owned Pubs show the Way Forward

A group of Save the Henry Jenkins campaign supporters recently completed a fact-finding tour of two local community-owned pubs – the award-winning George & Dragon at Hudswell, near Richmond, and the equally impressive Foresters Arms at Carlton-in-Coverdale .

Both pubs were in danger of closing down for good. Both have been saved and refurbished as thriving community pubs.

The George & Dragon, Hudswell

In 2008 the George & Dragon was closed and repossessed by the bank – and it looked like the village could lose its only pub … so a small group of volunteers set about exploring the idea of a community buyout. Some in the village said it wouldn’t work but a committee was formed and in a short time they raised enough capital to buy and renovate the pub and letting rooms – almost all through the issue of community shares. The pub reopened in 2010. It is run as a business by the landlord, who pays a commercial rent to the Hudswell Community Pub co-operative. The pub has a public and lounge bar, a library, community allotments and a beer garden with a fabulous view over the Swale Valley. As it is not tied to a brewery or a pub company, the landlord does not have to pay a premium price for beer or spirits and he can sell whatever he wants … so it’s no surprise that there is an excellent selection of five different kinds of local real ale. There is also delicious home cooked food, with specials displayed on a blackboard at the bar. The George & Dragon, which also incorporates a volunteer-run village shop, was recently named CAMRA Pub of the Year 2016.

Local people commented that since the pub reopened it has “changed the whole atmosphere of the village,” with a marked increase in people going out and socialising. It’s also been noticeable that people with a share in the pub – more than half of whom live in the immediate local area – have a keen interest in patronising “their” pub – and are proud to show it off to visiting friends and family.

Shareholders are paid an annual dividend of 1.5 – 3%. This is funded from around half the rent paid by the tenant; the remainder goes into co-operative funds for maintenance/ future improvements. There is now a waiting list for people wanting to buy shares!

 

The Foresters Arms, Carlton-in-Coverdale

The Foresters Arms is a 17th century pub with accommodation in beautiful Coverdale. But, in common with many country pubs at the time, it was not thriving and in early 2011 the owners cut their losses, closed the pub and moved out. Fearing their local could be lost forever, residents called a public meeting of all interested parties within the dale and beyond and many expressed a determination to pursue the idea of a community buyout.

A co-operative was formed, a target set for the purchase and refurbishment of the pub and people asked to make pledges for the purchase of community shares. Organisers were delighted by the rapid response and the sale went ahead. Refurbishment work began in August and the first tenants were appointed shortly afterwards. The Foresters reopened for liquid sales on Christmas Eve 2011 – just eleven months after the pub’s closure.

When the party from Kirkby visited the Foresters on a Wednesday night, the car park was full and it was heaving inside. There was a great atmosphere with a steady flow of orders from the dining room, while the main bar and snug were full of locals. Described on its website as “a quintessentially English country pub offering a warm welcome, good food and serving local beer,” it even serves a “Foresters ale” brewed by a local microbrewery.

As with the George & Dragon, the Foresters has many regular customers from well outside the village and among the 300 plus shareholders there is a sense of pride in what they like to think of as “their” pub. The tenants, Keith and Lesley, were very hospitable and Keith reported that running a community-owned pub was far preferable to working for a pub company.

Henry Jenkins Community Share Ownership Investigation

The Save the Henry Jenkins Group is launching a investigation into the Community Ownership option for the Henry Jenkins.

The growing number of successful community owned Pubs (over 50) and community owned village shops (over 300) in the UK , show the viability of the community ownership option.
There is also specific government and social enterprise assistance now available for launching community share ownership of Pubs.

In order to see the viability and practicality of this option for the Henry Jenkins, we are undertaking an investigation into this option.

It is specifically for The Henry Jenkins, but research will also be into its use for other Pubs and community properties in the area.

Research will be in 2 phases, the first phase is Research and information gathering and the second phase is a more detailed report on the idea.

Research would be in 2 main areas;
Firstly, the structure, funding and practical aspects of the community Pub ownership option and how it could apply to The Henry Jenkins and other Pubs and community services in the area..

Secondly, an extension of the community ownership model to a “Community Hub”where a wider range of services is put under the Pub roof.
Again, specifically aimed at The Henry Jenkins, but also examining how it would apply to other Pubs and community services in the area.

The research will be put online on the Henry Jenkins Website to be available publicly. (Any personal research will be anonymous and collated for general results unless otherwise agreed.).

We aim to collate all effects of the community Pub idea, both good and bad, to fully examine this option.

If you are interested in helping in this research, or have input (both good and bad), please contact us on community@thehenryjenkins.com

Kevin Ison
Save the Henry Jenkins Group

Henry Jenkins subject of investigation by Yorkshire Post

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Yorkshire Post, March 18, 2017

The case of the Henry Jenkins – and Harrogate Borough Council’s decision not to protect it as an Asset of Community Value – was the subject of a major investigation in Saturday’s Yorkshire Post.

Under the front page splash headline “Communities being stripped of assets…” the paper reports that up to three quarters of bids to protect community assets under the Government’s Big Society have been rejected outright.

On an inside page a league table is published of local authorities in the region – and Harrogate comes out close to bottom, approving only 24 per cent of ACV nominations. As well as the Henry Jenkins, the Crown at Grewelthorpe was also recently refused protection. By comparison, Richmondshire and Barnsley have approved 100% of ACV nominatins, with other councils not far behind: Hambleton (94%), Scarborough (83%), York (82%), Rotherham (82%) and Leeds (81%).

Under the heading “Our pub is the beating heart of our village,” the decision to refuse the Henry Jenkins an ACV listing is reported in detail – alongside a picture of villagers protesting outside the pub.

Richard Sadler, of the Save the Henry Jenkins group  is quoted as saying: “It can’t be right that a 250-year-old pub that has been so important to this village of Kirkby Malzeard is not listed when the legislation has been set up for exactly this purpose.”

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Yorkshire Post, March 18, 2017

The example is also given of Otley – where all but one of the town’s 20 pubs has been listed as an ACV by Leeds City Council. However one pub has a Harrogate post code  and so comes under Harrogate’s jurisdiction – and this pub has been refused ACV protection.

The “postcode lottery” over the fate of much-valued local pubs is condemned by Leeds MP Greg Mulholland, chair of the Parliamentary Save the Pub group.

He said many pubs were still being lost despite the powers given to councils by the Government to protect them.

“In some cases they are clearly not following the national guidance and are turning down bids quite wrongly denying local people any say in the future of these local assets,” he said.

Paul Ainsworth, chair of Camra’s pubs campaign group, added that the administrative burden on councils meant it was easier to refuse an application than deal with the paperwork.

“This has led some councils to ‘gold-plate’ requirements so that it is virtually impossible for some communities to protect their local – simply because of where they live,” he said.

The system for nominating pubs and other facilities as Assets of Community Value was introduced under the Localism Act by David Cameron to allow local communities greater authority in protecting community assets.

Once a pub is listed as an ACV, this gives it greater protection against it being demolished or turned into shops or offices. It also allows time for a community buyout, an increasingly popular option in rural villages and one now being considered for the Henry Jenkins.

Last month Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee – which does not deal with ACV nominations – refused plans for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins after receiving 90 objections and a 150-signature petition.

The application was rejected on the grounds that “the proposal would result in the loss of a community facility (public house) thereby reducing the variety of locally based community facilities to the detriment of meeting present and future social needs and aspirations of this rural community.”

However David Fielder is now trying to exploit a loophole in planning laws which could allow him to bypass this decision by rebranding the Henry Jenkins as “offices.”

The Save the Henry Jenkins group is planning to submit a new nominaton for the pub to be listed as an ACV.

  • Read the Yorkshire Post front page story here and inside page story here.

 

 

 

 

Graffiti on Henry Jenkins windows

We have received complaints about the graffiti on the back windows of the Henry Jenkins.

 

We are contacting the owner – David Fielder – regarding the graffiti and asking him to have it covered over or removed.

 

You can also contact him directly to ask for him to have it removed.

 

Fielder Holdings
07802 360866
David Fielder
The Grange, Wood Lane, Willitoft,
Howden, East Riding Of Yorkshire DN14 7NU.

 

You could also contact Howard Mountain of the Parish Council
Telephone 01765 658838

 

You could also contact your local Councilor – Margaret Atkinson
Councillor Margaret Atkinson
Phone:01765 658545
Mobile Phone:07802 214938

Henry Jenks rebranded as “offices” in attempt to avoid Planning Controls

The owner of the Henry Jenkins, David Fielder, is attempting to exploit a loophole in the law intended to protect community pubs – by rebranding the Henry Jenkins as his “estate office.”

Last week Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee voted to reject plans for demolition of the Henry Jenkins and redevelopment of the site with housing. The main reason for doing so is that the council has a specific policy, called Policy CFX, designed to protect community facilities – and councillors were unanimous in deciding that in this case the terms and conditions of that policy had not been met.

They decided that planning permission for demolition/ redevelopment should be refused because: “The proposal would result in the loss of a community facility (public house) thereby reducing the variety of locally based community facilities to the detriment of meeting the present and future social needs and aspirations of this rural community.”

They determined that if he wished to reapply for demolition the applicant (Mr Fielder) would need to demonstrate that he had marketed the Henry Jenkins at a price which reflects its market value – and would need to provide evidence of marketing/ advertising plus offers to buy etc.

Mr Fielder is now attempting to get round this by exploiting a loophole in the law that allows owners of pubs and community facilities to change their designated use under “permitted development rights.” Under these rights, Mr Fielder can simply notify the council that he intends to change the use of the Henry Jenkins from public house to offices – without needing planning permission. At a later date he could then theoretically apply for planning permission to demolish an “office” – which would no longer be considered as a community facility. (The fact that the building is in a dilapidated state – and its interior has been stripped out of fixtures, fittings and internal walls etc – may not prevent the Henry Jenkins from being technically designated as “an office.” )

This is not supposition or guesswork:  Yesterday new signs were put up on the Henry Jenkins saying “Fielder Estate Office.” And Harrogate Borough Council have confirmed that they have been in discussions with Mr Fielder’s agent and are expecting to receive prior notification that he intends to change the use of the Henry Jenkins under permitted development rights.

Clearly this goes against the spirit of the Policy CFX , set up to protect community facilities. It is also an attempt to frustrate the will of elected members of Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee, who were concerned to ensure that every effort was made to keep the Henry Jenkins as a public house – and who raised serious questions about efforts by Mr Fielder to market it as such.

The Save the Henry Jenkins committee is urgently considering its response to the latest developments. We believe Mr Fielder’s actions are a matter of national significance because they seek to undermine established national planning policies. We are encouraged by a vote in the House of Lords last week which seeks to remove permitted development rights from pubs and we will be raising the case of the Henry Jenkins at the highest level.

Watch this space for further developments.

Community Purchase of Henry Jenks considered

Following last week’s decisive rejection of plans for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins, thanks are due to everyone who has helped bring this about by voicing their opposition so strongly.

More than 90 people – almost all of them from Kirkby, Laverton and Dallowgill – registered formal objections with Harrogate Borough Council and a total of 155 people signed a petition against proposals for the pub’s demolition and redevelopment with housing. According to Harrogate & Ripon CAMRA – who registered their own objections – this was by far the biggest response in recent years to plans involving the loss of a pub.

The Planning Committee, which rejected the application with a 12-0 majority, were left in no doubt over the strength of feeling on this issue. As expressed by scores of objectors: The Henry Jenkins was a much loved and missed facility which offered something different from the Queens, it was a vital part of the community – and could be so again if it was offered for sale at the right price.

In the days before and after last week’s decision the fate of the Henry Jenkins has attracted widespread media attention, having been featured on BBC Radio York, Stray FM, the Yorkshire Post and the Ripon Gazette.

The question now is what is the best way of saving the Henry Jenkins for the benefit of the village and its inhabitants (read on…)

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Ripon Gazette – March 2nd, 2017

One option being considered is a community bid to purchase, refurbish and run it either as conventional a pub and restaurant with b&b – or as a multi-service facility offering other services which people want (for example a sub-post office, a library, a bakery, a retail outlet for local artisans, a 24-hour gym etc).

Community ownership is a viable and well-proven method of securing local services being lost in villages up and down the country – and the Government has set aside millions of pounds to help local people buy and run community pubs and shops.

The case for a community buyout and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins has been looked at in some detail and initial inspection suggests the building is structurally sound and could be viably refurbished as a profitable multi-service facility.

Its history and its position in the centre of the village mean it would be well-placed to be brought back as a community hub – as well as having potential to pull in visitors and tourists. If done in the right way – and with the widest possible involvement of people in the village – it need not conflict with existing facilities and could benefit every one. As well as boosting income from tourism and providing local employment, it could encourage residents to socialise, go out more in the village and spend their money here rather than further afield. A revitalised Henry Jenkins could ultimately make Kirkby Malzeard a more attractive and desirable place to live in, work in and visit.

Watch this space for more information on the options for a possible community buyout.

Thanks once again to every one who has helped us get this far!

Yorkshire Post article
Yorkshire Post – Feb 27th, 2017
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Yorkshire Post – March 1st, 2017

Plans for demolition of Henry Jenkins rejected

 

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Objectors outside Harrogate Borough Council’s offices this afternoon

Plans for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins were were decisively rejected today by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

Councillors voted 12-0 to turn down an application by David Fielder, of Fielder Holdings, to knock down the pub and redevelop the site with housing. There were three abstentions.

Richard Sadler, from the Save the Henry Jenkins committee, addressed the committee saying this was a clear-cut case of a speculative developer from outside the area buying up a once popular and well-used community facility and deliberately degrading it.

Several councillors asked Mr Fielder, who also addressed the meeting, why he had not submitted more evidence of attempts to sell it as a going concern. He was also asked why, if he wanted to sell it, he had stripped out the interior of the building.

Mr Fielder denied that he had turned away prospective buyers. But when this question was raised by a committee member, the Planning Officer, Mrs Jan Belton, confirmed that written submissions had been received from interested prospective buyers who had tried to buy the pub.

Mr Fielder maintained that his original intention had been to keep the Henry Jenkins as a pub but that he had received no formal offers – and this was why he had stripped out the interior.

He was supported by the deputy chairman of Kirkby Malzeard Parish Council, Coun Mike Hurford, who said the parish council were unanimous in supporting the application, that the village could not support two pubs and that the Henry Jenkins would conflict with plans to develop the Mechanics Institute Village Hall.

However one councillor pointed out that other villages had successfully brought back pubs previously judged not to be viable.

And the committee’s vice chairman, Coun Nigel Simms, who represents Masham, made the point that Masham has four pubs and a number of other licensed premises and he didn’t see why Kirkby Malzeard could not support two.

The application was also opposed by Kirkby Malzeard’s ward councillor, Coun Margaret Atkinson, who said she was reluctant to go against the parish council but on this occasion she could not agree with the stance taken.

  • The decision is expected to be reported in tomorrow’s Yorkshire Post and Thursday’s Ripon Gazette

 

 

 

Decision on the fate of the Henry Jenkins Today!

Planning meeting today
The decision on the fate of the Henry Jenkins is being made today.

If you can be there to support, it will help show the planning committee members the support for keeping the Pub.

Please meet at 1.15pm today, Tuesday (February 28) for show of strength outside the Council Offices, Crescent Gardens, Harrogate, HG1 2SG.
Then we need to go inside in good time for for the start of the meeting at 2:00pm. There are already some spare seats going (no need for everyone to take their cars). Please email kevin@thehenryjenkins.com if you want a ride or if you have seats to spare.

PLEASE TRY TO MAKE IT IF YOU CAN – IF WE GET A GOOD TURNOUT, MEMBERS OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE SHOULD BE IN NO DOUBT OF THE STRENGTH OF FEELING!

Cooperative Ownership Option
We have also posted an article on the website about the Cooperative ownership option that could be available if the decision to demolish is rejected today.

You can read about that in the Resources section here – http://thehenryjenkins.com/resources/the-henry-jenkins-the-community-ownership-option/