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…)
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!