Plan to convert part of Henry Jenkins to housing rejected

Plans to downgrade part of the historic Henry Jenkins Inn to residential have been refused following more than 60 objections.

Only three people supported the application … and one of those was David Fielder, the Goole-based property developer who bought the property in 2012 – and who has since allowed the property to fall into a dilapidated state.

See Notice of Planning Refusal here

Thank you to every one who registered their objection – your action could be instrumental in helping to save the Henry Jenkins as a valuable community facility for future generations!

The decision notice from Harrogate Borough Council states: “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.”

It adds: “No evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the existing or alternative community use would cause unacceptable planning problems, that a satisfactory replacement facility is provided, or that there is no reasonable prospect of the use continuing on a viable basis or of a satisfactory alternative community use being secured.”

The Henry Jenkins Community Co-operative is now planning to make a formal request to the council to begin proceedings for a compulsory purchase.

The council has a duty to consider requests for compulsory purchase from community groups – especially in situations where the owner is unwilling to sell – or where empty properties are blighting the local environment. 

We are grateful to the council for its robust response in upholding planning policies designed to protect community facilities – however further action is now needed to break the deadlock.

Local councils have powers to make compulsory purchases under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act  Under  Government planning guidance they have a duty to consider and formally respond to requests from community groups. The guidance states: “Local authorities should consider all requests from third parties, but particularly voluntary and community organisations … which put forward a scheme for a particular asset which would require compulsory purchase.”  It adds that councils should consider requests to use its compulsory purchase powers for community assets “that are in danger of being lost where the owner of the asset is unwilling to sell.”

It has been well documented that Mr Fielder has rebuffed at least three approaches from private prospective buyers who wanted to refurbish the Henry Jenkins as pub and restaurant.

In December he rejected a fully-funded offer from HJCC to to buy the pub for £180,000, its full market value as determined by a professional Valuation Report.  Mr Fielder has since stated publicly that he wants no further dealings with HJCC – despite the fact that our plans to regenerate the Henry Jenkins as a community-owned bar and bistro/ coffee shop are supported by the overwhelming majority of local residents.

We will be arguing that this is precisely the situation for which use of compulsory purchase powers is intended under national planning guidance. If the council does not step in, Kirkby Malzeard’s Main Street could be blighted by a disreputable, ramshackle property for many more years to come.

Parish Council declines to review Policy on Henry Jenkins

Parish Council members have resisted calls to carry out a policy review  – following fierce criticism of their past support for plans for the demolition on of the Henry Jenkins.

More than 20 parishioners attended a heated meeting of Kirkby Malzeard Parish Council on Monday – the first to be called since last week’s decision by a Government Inspector to dismiss Mr Fielder’s appeal against refusal of planning permission.

There was  outspoken criticism of the Parish Council, who supported Mr Fielder’s original plans to demolish the Henry Jenkins and redevelop the site with housing – and continued to support his plans after planning permission was refused.  It was suggested the Parish Council had still not shifted its position, one parishioner called on councillors to resign en masse and at one stage the meeting was suspended.

Speaking for the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op, Richard Sadler said the chances of Mr Fielder ever getting permission for his original plans were now very remote – but there were concerns that he would sit on the pub, continue to refuse offers to buy it and allow the building to remain in a ramshackle state for years to come.

Mr Fielder was asked by councillors if he would be prepared to enter into negotiations with HJCC, who made a fully funded offer to buy the Henry Jenkins in December.  However, he said he “did not trust” members of HJCC and would be proceeding with plans to split the property into three and sell off the “flat” on the first floor. As an Asset of Community Value, the Henry Jenkins can only be sold as a community facility and any change of use would require planning permission. Mr Fielder, whose position and general attitude was criticised by several parishioners, declined to elaborate on how he would sell parts of the Henry Jenkins or who he would sell them to.

In response to charges of bias, several councillors spoke to say there was no secret agenda and that they were trying to be even handed. The chairman, Howard Mountain, said everyone agreed that it was in no one’s interests for the Henry Jenkins to be left to deteriorate. However he said there would be no review of the parish council’s position until after  local council elections in May.

The Parish Council was presented with the latest interim results of an Opinion Survey being carried out by HJCC volunteers in Kirkby, Laverton and Dallowgill. Of 170 forms returned so far, more than three quarters of respondents support plans for a regenerated Henry Jenkins, based around the proposed core business of a family bistro, coffee shop and real ale bar. Once the survey has been completed forms will be handed to the Parish Council for verification.

Last month a Government Planning Inspector, John Morrison,  dismissed an appeal by Mr Fielder against Harrogate Borough Council’s decision to refuse panning permission for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins.

He said the decision was in line with national and local planning policies designed to ensure there was a broad range of facilities in rural communities. He added that he was not convinced that the potential re-use of the Henry Jenkins as a going concern had been sufficiently investigated – and that the owner had left the building in “very oppressive, dark and sorry state.”

Study Tour of Community-owned Pubs

Supporters of plans for the regeneration of the Henry Jenkins will this month begin  fact-finding tour of community-owned pubs with the support of the Plunkett Foundation, the Government-backed charity that provides support and expertise for community buyouts.

Study visits of combined pubs, cafes and restaurants in Derbyshire and Yorkshire are being supervised by a business advisor with experience of helping to facilitate successful community enterprises across the UK.

HJCC committee members will also be joined by  local supporters with business experience in the hospitality sector.

It is proposed money for the purchase and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins should be raised with a combination of community shares, grants and loans. HJCC is eligible to apply for up to £100,000 in funding from the Plunkett Foundation as well as a number of other grant-giving bodies. At this stage formal pledges to buy community shares are not being sought – that will not happen until a fully-costed Share Prospectus and Business Plan have been published. Informal pledges so far been made to the value of more than £80,000.

Community bid for Henry Jenkins remains on the table

HJCC would like to restate that our offer is still open to buy the Henry Jenkins for £180,000, its full market price as determined by a professional Valuation Report. Our offer, originally made in December, has so far not been accepted by the owner. We remain ready and willing to enter into negotiations at any time.

 

 

 

Appeal against Planning Refusal dismissed

An appeal against refusal of planning permission for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins has been dismissed by a Government Planning Inspector.

The Inspector, John Morrison, said he was not convinced that the potential re-use of the Henry Jenkins as a going concern had been sufficiently investigated – and that the owner had left the building in “very oppressive, dark and sorry state.”

His decision follows an appeal hearing in Harrogate on January 31st. Mr Fielder claimed that the Henry Jenkins was no longer viable as a pub and that the council was wrong to refuse planning permission last February for demolition and redevelopment of the site with housing.

However, the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op argued that it was Mr Fielder himself who had ensured the pub was not viable by deliberately degrading the building, by failing to properly market it as a pub – and by refusing legitimate offers from prospective purchasers.

Mr Morrison agreed that the Henry Jenkins had not been marketed sufficiently as a pub – and that this was compounded by the stripping out of the pub’s interior.  He said in his Appeal Decision letter: “The appellant has stated that this was to present a blank canvas to show what prospective purchasers or renters could do but I struggle to reconcile this argument.

“Certainly, my experience of the building from my site visit presented something of an unfinished interior strip which also seems to have removed internal walls and doors without sufficient justification.

“This has resulted in showing a very oppressive, dark and sorry state that, in my view, would be more likely to put off potential interest than necessarily garner it.”

He said the decision by the council to refuse planning permission was in line with policies designed to maintain viable and sustainable communities – particularly in rural areas – by ensuring people had access to a wide variety of locally based community facilities. He also dismissed suggestions that the car park was too small to make the pub viable.

Since that decision the case for maintaining the Henry Jenkins as a community facility had been further strengthened by widespread support for plans for a community buyout. “There seems to be a very real possibility, on the strength of what I have seen, that there are options to re-use the Henry Jenkins in a sustainable way.”

This was supported by the fact that a fully funded offer to buy the pub for £180,000 was made in December by the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op.

“What the work of the HJCC shows … in the shape of the level of interest, the money that has been committed and the initial national funding secured is that there is not only a clear demand and strong willingness to re-use the HJ for community purposes but also the proverbial money being put where the mouth is,” Mr Morrison said.

“Whichever way one would like to look at it, £180,000 is not a small amount of money when it is committed from local people.”

The Inspector acknowledged that concerns had been raised over a possible conflict between a revived Henry Jenkins and the Mechanics Institute. However he concluded that the two facilities should be able to complement one another.

“Notwithstanding there may be some competing sales, there seems to be no clear reason why the two could not operate harmoniously, operating complimentary services,” he said.

  • HJCC would like to restate that our offer is still open to buy the Henry Jenkins for £180,000, its full market price as determined by a professional Valuation Report. We remain ready and willing to enter into negotiations at any time.The full text of the Planning Inspector’s Decision Letter can be seen here.

 

Strong Support for Community Buyout

We’re pleased to report that the interim results of an Opinion Survey being carried out across Kirkby, Laverton and Dallowgill suggest that a large majority of residents support plans for the community purchase of the Henry Jenkins.*

We’ve received further encouragement from the generosity of villagers who’ve said they would be prepared to buy community shares: So far more than £70,000 has been promised in informal pledges (at this stage there is no commitment). We expect this figure to keep on increasing as more survey forms come in.

We anticipate that community share issues will provide the bulk of the necessary finance for purchase and refurbishment: Experience from other community-owned pubs suggests that up to 60 per cent of shares may ultimately be bought by people from outside the village. The remainder will be raised through grants and loans. At present we are eligible to apply for up to £100,000 in grants and loans from the Plunkett Foundation. If we achieve our objective to buy the pub, there will be opportunities for grant funding and sponsorship from numerous other sources.

The HJCC is proposing the purchase and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins as a community-owned family bistro, coffee shop and real ale bar with b&b accommodation. As well as this, villagers are being asked for their opinion on possible non-core services such as an artisan bakery, a sub post office, a micro library, a bunk house, a cycle hire shop or a games room for young people. What we eventually end up providing will depend on the level of support. Our aim is to consult as widely as possible and to complement – not compete with – existing facilities.

Once refurbishment has been completed, our favoured business model is to offer a tenancy for the core business plus separate tenancies for any non core businesses. This means services would be run like any other business with paid staff – not by volunteers – but the building would be owned by the community… and all profits from rental income would go to the community. This model has proved very successful with other established community-owned facilities.

We will shortly be carrying out a study tour of other community owned pubs in the North of England under the guidance of  business advisers appointed by the Plunkett Foundation, the national charity that provides Government funding and expertise on community buyouts.

As plans progress we intend to publish a fully-costed business plan and draw up a formal prospectus for community share purchases. We will also plan to set ourselves up as a properly-constituted community group, governed by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The Henry Jenkins Community Co-op, which is recognised by Harrogate Borough Council as a legitimate community group,  is run by a committee of 10-15 volunteers, whose original objective was to stop plans for the pub’s demolition – but who are now focused on plans for a community buyout. If you wish to become involved, please email info@thehenryjenkins.com.

* The interim results were handed out at a hearing held last week into an appeal by Mr Fielder against refusal of planning permission for demolition of the Henry Jenkins and redevelopment of the site with housing. Around a third of all households have been balloted so far. When all the forms are in they will be presented to the Parish Council and the results made public.

Appeal against refusal of plans to demolish Jenks

An appeal hearing was held on Wednesday (February 31st) to hear evidence for and against an appeal by David Fielder against refusal of planning permission for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins and redevelopment of the site with housing.

Mr Fielder contended that Harrogate Borough Council Planning Committee’s decision to refuse his application was wrong because – after being closed for more than seven years – the pub was no longer viable, that the village could not support two pubs and that plans for a community buyout were not supported by the majority of the village. Mr Fielder, who bought the pub in 2012, argued that if the Henry Jenkins was reopened, this would threaten the viability of existing amenities – including the Queens, The Mechanics and Highside Playing Fields. He also claimed that the council’s decision went against Government planning policies requiring priority to be given to new housing.

Richard Sadler, representing the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op, replied that it was Mr Fielder himself who had ensured the pub was not viable: By allowing it to fall into a ramshackle state and stripping the interior of all features, the bar, kitchen, internal walls etc; by rebuffing three prospective purchasers who wanted to buy and refurbish it – and by failing to properly market it as a going concern. He submitted the interim results of a community-wide Opinion Survey showing strong support for the proposed community buyout.

Dave Robinson, who also spoke against the appeal, said that if the buyout succeeded, there would be a greater choice of venues and, in the long term, this should benefit every one – including the Mechanics and local businesses – by encouraging residents and visitors to go out, socialise more and spend their money in the village. He pointed out that up to 100 new houses were now planned for Kirkby, strengthening the case for facilities and services to be put back.

Jan Belton, representing the council, said permission had been refused because there was demonstrable opposition to plans to demolish the pub and that there was a need in the village for a range of services. She reiterated their reasons for refusal, stating that it was not council policy to allow the destruction of a community facility unless a replacement was provided.

Members of the Planning Committee voted unanimously to refuse the application in February last year after receiving more than ninety individual objections and a 150-signature petition. The refusal notice stated: “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.”

In June the pub was listed as an Asset of Community Value, meaning it cannot be sold as anything other than a pub or other community facility.

A decision on the appeal is expected to be announced next month.

  • Mr Fielder told the inspector the sale had been agreed, subject to contract, of part of the pub and car park as a private “flat” – and that if his appeal was refused, this sale would go ahead. He also reported that he was suing Harrogate Borough Council for financial losses incurred by their decision to list the Henry Jenkins as an Asset of Community Value.

Formal Offer made for Community Purchase of Henry Jenkins

A formal offer has been made this week for the community purchase of the  Henry Jenkins.

A fully-funded offer was made to the owner, David Fielder, on Monday morning by the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op’s agent.  The offer is for the full market value of the pub in its present condition, as determined by a professional Valuation Report.

The Community Co-op,  officially recognised as a properly-constituted community group by Harrogate Borough Council, have issued a press release saying: “Mr Fielder has already indicated he would be prepared to consider a community buyout – we hope he will seriously consider this as a genuine offer made in good faith.”  Proof of full funding will be made available via the group’s solicitor following  formal acceptance of the offer.

The offer to buy the pub comes as local volunteers are in the process of carrying out an Opinion Survey in Kirkby Malzeard,  Laverton and Dallowgill  to gauge support for plans for the regeneration of the Henry Jenkins as a family bistro, coffee shop and real ale bar with b&b accommodation. Residents are also being asked to comment on options for possible additional services such as an artisan bakery, a micro brewery, a retail outlet for local crafts people or a sub post office.

The group has secured a £2,500 bursary grant from the Plunkett Foundation, the charity that allocates Government funding and provides expertise to help community buyouts. It is also eligible to apply for up to £100,000 in grants and loans from Plunkett. However, it is envisaged most of the money for the proposed purchase and refurbishment should be raised through the issue of community shares.

Plans for the demolition of the 250-year-old pub and redevelopment with housing were unanimously rejected by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee in February following more than 90 letters of objection and a 150-signature petition. In July the pub was listed as an Asset of Community Value under the 2011 Localism Act, following  evidence pointing to the pub’s pivotal role in the local community.  For as long as the Henry Jenkins is listed as an ACV, it cannot be sold as anything other than a community facility – and ACV listing is not due to  expire until July, 2022.

 

 

 

 

Misleading Information posted on Henry Jenkins building – clarification

 

 

Misleading information about the future of the Henry Jenkins has been posted on the front windows of the building by the owner, David Fielder. The true situation is outlined below:

The Plunkett Foundation 

This is the Government-backed charity that hands out grants and provides expert advice for community buyouts. It is suggested by Mr Fielder that plans being progressed by the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op for the purchase and regeneration of the Henry Jenkins do not qualify for support because there is already pub in the village (the Queens) as well as other facilities. This is not correct. The Plunkett Foundation has recognised the HJCC as a genuine and properly-constituted community group and confirmed in writing that it  “qualifies for fully-funded support.”  Plunkett has already approved a £2,500 bursary to enable a community bid and has allocated us a specialist adviser with experience of setting up numerous Community Hubs around the country. Plunkett has also confirmed that HJCC is eligible to apply for up to £100,000 in grants and loans towards the purchase of the Henry Jenkins. This does not prevent HJCC from also applying for grants from other organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are proposing the regeneration of the Henry Jenkins as a Community Hub that would complement existing facilities – not compete with them. This is in line with Plunkett’s advice.

Asking price for the Henry Jenkins 

The owner, who bought the Henry Jenkins for £150,000 in 2012, has set the asking price at £450,000 – despite the fact that it is now severely degraded. He has also insisted he will not allow internal inspection/ survey without payment of a £1,000 fee. We will not be paying an inspection fee and our agent has been instructed to prepare a detailed Valuation Report based on external inspection, market conditions and other publicly available information.

Alleged offers for the purchase of the Henry Jenkins 

The owner claims to have received offers for the purchase of the Henry Jenkins. If this is true, prospective purchasers should be aware that the entire curtilege of the property is listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) under the terms of the 2011 Localism Act.  This means it cannot be sold as anything other than a public house for four and a half years. If at any time in the future its status as an ACV is removed, we will immediately reapply for listing. Prospective purchasers should also be aware that planning permission for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins/ redevelopment of the site was unanimously refused by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee on February 28th. One of the reasons for refusal was that councillors were not persuaded that a genuine attempt had been made to sell the property as a public house. If it becomes apparent that the owner has continued to reject reasonable offers for the purchase and regeneration of the Henry Jenkins as a public house – including offers from HJCC – it is difficult to see how councillors’ concerns will be allayed in the event of any future planning application.

In the coming months the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op will be carrying out full consultations with residents of Kirkby Malzeard and surrounding parishes over options for the purchase and regeneration of the Henry Jenkins as a Community Hub.

ACV Listing upheld by Harrogate Borough Council

Harrogate Borough Council have upheld their decision to list the Henry Jenkins as an Asset of Community Value following an internal review.

The review of the council’s decision making process was carried out by the director of the Harrogate International Centre.  This follows a request for a review from the pub’s owner, David Fielder.

Mr Fielder has been informed that following a review by the council that “the decision to list the Henry Jenkins as an Asset of Community Value has been upheld.”

The pub was listed as an ACV in July, giving it special status for five years –  making it less likely that planning approval will be given for redevelopment.  ACV listing also removes “Permitted Development Rights” – which would have allowed the owner to downgrade the Henry Jenkins to “offices” under a loophole in planning law.

Planning permission for the demolition of the Henry Jenkins and redevelopment of the site with new housing was unanimously rejected by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee in February. The refusal notice states: “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.”

Henry Jenkins Community Co-op wins Government Funding

 

We are pleased to confirm that the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op (HJCC) has recently secured bursary funding to put together a bid to buy and refurbish the Henry Jenkins as a Community Hub.

The Plunkett Foundation, which represents a network of more than 500 community co-operatives across the UK, has approved initial funding of £2,500 under the Government-backed More than a Pub Business Support Programme.. This will pay for advice and support from experts with experience of setting up successful community enterprises. An independent Business Assessment has been commissioned and in the next few weeks a peer-to-peer study tour is being organised of successful co-operative pubs in North Yorkshire and Lancashire.

To qualify for funding evidence was provided of growing support in and around Kirkby Malzeard for a community buyout. Evidence was also submitted on the Business Case for regenerating the Henry Jenkins – taking into account existing services available in and around the village.

The HJCC, officially recognised as a prospective bidder by Harrogate Borough Council, is now eligible to apply for grants and loans of up to £100,000 under the £3.63m More than a Pub programme. The intention is to use the model followed by numerous other successful community enterprises, with capital raised primarily through the issue of community shares.

We are proposing the phased restoration and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins as a Community Hub, built around a bar and a combined family bistro/ Italian-style coffee shop with b&b rooms upstairs. The Hub should have a strong community and social purpose and we plan additional services to benefit those who are socially isolated or excluded. For example, to appeal to elderly residents we are proposing a micro library, IT hub and book exchange and a comfortable waiting area for the Post Office van. Another suggestion is provision of a separate space away from the bar for parents with young children. At a later stage there may be options for other services of community benefit.  Popular ideas so far include and artisan bakery, a micro brewery, a sub post office, a retail outlet for local crafts people and a bunkhouse for walkers, cyclists and mountains bikers.

However, we are committed to engaging widely with the local community – and before any of these options are decided on we will be carrying out extensive consultation to find out what people actually want.

Following a long campaign to save the pub from demolition – including more than 90 letters of objection – the Henry Jenkins was listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) in July. This means it has special status – and as an ACV it cannot be sold as anything other than as a public house. Plans by the current owner to demolish the pub and redevelop the site for housing were unanimously rejected by Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee in February.

 

HJ Community Co-op recognised as “Prospective Bidder”

We are pleased to report that the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op has been officially recognised by Harrogate Borough Council as a properly constituted body and a prospective bidder. This triggers a six-month moratorium to allow time for a community bid to be prepared for the historic Henry Jenkins pub. During this period the owner is not permitted to sell it to anyone else. 

We have also just been notified by the Plunkett Foundation –  the charity that distributes Government grants for community buyouts –  that we are eligible for fully-funded support.
With their help and advice we are now progressing plans to put together a  viable community bid for the purchase and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins. Our first objective is to build further on our fast-expanding supporter base.
We are working with advisors on a fully-costed Business Plan, setting out how we propose to raise the necessary capital ( we have already had numerous informal pledges to buy community shares).

We have also begun planning for an Information Day in October, when we will be setting out our model for the the core business of a community-owned pub and restaurant with b&b.
We also plan to display an artist’s impression of how a revitalised Henry Jenkins might might look – and a vision of how it could become a vital asset to the area. Representatives from other successful community pubs are being invited to speak and answer questions.
We are also planning to provide refreshments and a variety of food and drink including locally made cakes. We may also have space for displays of local crafts.

 

Exciting Possibilities

Over the past few months we have learnt a great deal about the achievements of other community-owned pubs and shops – and the more we’ve learnt the more we’ve been inspired by the exciting possibilities for developing the Henry Jenkins as a community hub.

Community pubs are run in a variety of different ways but what they all have in common is that they are owned by local shareholders and all the profits are ploughed back into the community (and not syphoned off by a Pub Co or an absentee landlord). They also offer an opportunity for provision of non-core services often not seen in privately-owned pubs – for example, special provision for elderly residents and young people. Experiences suggests that once established,  community  pubs are very secure compared to privately owned pubs: There are more than 50 now operating and we haven’t heard of any that have failed.  

In the case of the Henry Jenkins, our vision is to provide services that enhance – rather than compete with – existing businesses, helping to boost the local economy through sustainable tourism while at the same time serving local needs and helping to bring people together.

Watch this space for further updates!

Interested in helping out?

We are looking for volunteers to help with plans for the Information Day – and to help out on the day.  If you’d like to help out, or if you would like any more information  about the Henry Jenkins Community Co-op, please email info@thehenryjenkins.com.

 


Save the Date! Henry Jenkins Community Co-op Open Day- Date to be set.

* Info on Community Enterprises
* Ideas for how revitalised Henry Jenkins might look
* Speakers from successful Community Pubs
* Refeshments