Second refusal going to appeal
The owner of our pub has of the 28th of September lodged an appeal against West Berks’ planning decision back in March to refuse planning permission.. The appeal is yet to be registered with the inspectorate as there are possible delays, so the hearing is likely to be in the new year.
There has been some interest in the pub this summer by potential lessees. Unfortunately and not surprisingly, none have come to fruition, due possibly to unrealistic terms offered and a lack of willingness with the owner to negotiate.
We will of course be offering any support we can to defending this decision.
There is plenty of potential in this beautiful and viable pub waiting to be realised. That’s not just our opinion but that of some of the prospective lessees that we’ve spoken with.
The team remains dedicated to saving our only pub from the perils of developers who think nothing of how our pub is valued by this community and put profit before people and heritage.
The White Hart Inn’s second change of use planning application has been refused.
On the 30th of march West Berks Planning Department refused the owner’s second application.
A big thank you to my fellow team members for the incredible work undertaken and sacrifices of personal time and energy.
This, one of three points from the decision document is, (I believe) the most pertinent point and being most central in our objections:
The Council considers that, in the light of the advice contained in West Berkshire
Councils’s Supplementary Planning Guidance 19 – Public Houses, the White Hart Public House
is potentially viable for use as a licensed premises in the future. In addition the Council is not
satisfied that the extended marketing exercise undertaken by the applicant has been adequately
undertaken, having regard to current market expectations and valuations for public houses in
West Berkshire. Accordingly the true redundancy of The White Hart is in question and so this
fails the test of criterion 2 in Policy C4 of the countryside policies contained in the West
Berkshire Council Housing Site Allocations Development Plan Document – November 2015.
Given the fact that The White Hart is a valued local facility, important for community cohesion as
identified both in the NPPF [para 70] and policy ADPP5 in the West Berkshire Core Strategy
2006 to 2026, the application is unacceptable.
There is still a long road ahead of us, and the campaign team remain committed to restoring the White Hart Inn to its role as a thriving pub at the heart of the community. One task we have is to aid and assist in the countering of any appeal – should the owner decide to take this route. The team will monitor events that follow and will endeavour to keep you informed.
We have only the one local pub in our village, closed now. So here are a few important facts from scientific studies into the importance of our rural pub:
Pubs effectively contribute to increasing social engagement and community cohesion among residents in rural areas of England
In rural areas pubs act as essential melting pots for bringing the community together from all walks of life and studies conclude that it is yet another vital services that the countryside cannot afford to lose.
The pub has increased its importance as the main hub in the community’s infrastructure, offering support to a wide range of activities. Pubs function as physical incubators which foster engagement and involvement among the community, as well as creating jobs for local people and local suppliers.