Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and their Portfolio Holder for Planning and Infrastructure, Cllr Roy Golding (councillor elected for Oakley and North Waltham), have responded that they will not halt the demolition of the Harvest Home before a planning application is submitted, by the placing an order on the building.
Although it is listed as a ‘Building of Local Interest’ they claim that “the building is of limited heritage value”.
Local residents and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) had asked that an Article 4 Direction be used to prevent demolition before a planning application has been submitted.
As it is, the owner can simply demolish without any consideration being given to the building’s use, its history or its character. They only require approval for their means of demolition.
Its not just about pubs – it is about the town…
Although CAMRA has been behind the campaign that has attracted supporters from far and wide, this is not just about the loss of an important community amenity – it is also about the effects on the special character of Whitchurch.
As a result a Public Meeting is being held to discuss the issue with those who made the decision.
Cllr Golding has very kindly agreed to attend to meet with local residents, which is very much appreciated.
All are welcome to attend.
Wednesday 15th June
7.45 for 8.00pm
Gill Nethercott Centre
The Borough Council says that the developer could claim compensation, but admit that they have no evidence of any such claims being made or being successful.
A question many are now asking is what buildings will be lost next? The town recently lost the Railway Hotel in similar circumstances and other buildings of character may follow.
All who care about our town’s heritage are being urged to attend the meeting.
Far reaching consequences…
At the recent Pub Race one participant made the observation that without the town’s pubs there would be no Pub Race and thus no raising thousands of pounds for good causes! This year around £2500 was raised that will go back into the local community.
Many others lamented the loss of character to the town feeling that it would become soulless as more local sites of historic value fall to the hands of developers.
Changing the laws…
Meanwhile CAMRA is also pushing for the laws to be changed and recently met with the Government Minister and his Officials on the reluctance of Councils to issue Article 4 Directions.
Wednesday 15th June
7.45pm at the Gill Nethercott Centre.