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.”
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.
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.
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 email@example.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
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.”
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
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.
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.”
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.