Momentum is building in the campaign to stop plans for the demolition of the historic Henry Jenkins.
More than 80 people have lodged objections with Harrogate Borough Council
The council has repeatedly delayed a decision because of lack of evidence over efforts to sell it as a pub
Interest has been expressed by prospective buyers considering refurbishing the Henry Jenkins as a pub/restaurant with b&b
The pub has been officially nominated as an Asset of Community Value – which could help a possible community buy-out
Over the next week leaflets are being distributed to households in Kirkby Malzeard, Laverton and Dallowgill to keep residents abreast of developments. The leaflets set out the case for rejuvenating the Henry Jenkins as a private business – offering all-day food, b&b etc – or as a multi-purpose community-owned facility. Initial inspection suggests the building is structurally sound – and the fact that fixtures and fittings have been stripped out may in some ways simplify the process of refurbishment. The degraded state of the building – with rainwater still entering through a hole in the roof – would be reflected in its future market value as a pub.
The present owner, who has been responsible for the deteriorating state of the Henry Jenkins over the past four years, is now claiming it is no longer viable as a pub. However credible prospective buyers have stated in writing that they were fobbed off. And two people in the catering industry with experience of running pubs and restaurants – including a former tenant at the Henry Jenkins – have indicated they would still be interested in buying the Henry Jenkins if it was offered at a realistic price that reflected its current condition.
If private buyers decide not to follow through another option being carefully studied is a community buy-out and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins as a multi-purpose community facility. Millions of pounds in Government funding is available to help rescue pubs as community-owned assets – and a decision is expected soon on whether to approve the nomination of the Henry Jenkins as an Asset of Community Value.
If the Henry Jenkins was revitalised as Community Facility it could be much more than a pub with b&b – it could house under one roof other much-needed services like a sub-post office, or an outlet for local crafts or a bakery or a library. This would help to put the village on the map as a tourist destination and should benefit other businesses – and it would not be replicating what’s on offer at the Queens.
STOP PRESS: Harrogate Borough Council have confirmed that a final decision on whether to approve plans to demolish the Henry Jenkins and redevelop the site for housing will now be made on February 28th.
It’s not too late to object! To register your comment click here (you will need to register your email address)