The Harvest Home site today.

After a strong but unsuccessful local campaign to save the historic Harvest Home public house in Winchester Street, an unexpected turn of events has seen the site being put back on the market.

For Sale
Although the site is now cleared, and consists solely of bare earth and weeds, the owners are presently advertising it at £400,000 through a London based property agent.

Campaigning history
Campaigners had tried to convince Basingstoke and Deane to issue an Order that would have prevented demolition before consideration of a planning application, but the Councillor responsible, Rob Golding opposed it. It is claimed that such a move may have encouraged a purchaser to come forward to buy the building, which could have retained its unique character for the town; but without the protection the bulldozers moved in.

Although unconnected with the Harvest Home, Cllr Golding has recently been involved in the Manydown land issue at Basingstoke where the High Court deemed the Council’s actions to be unlawful.

Permission for housing
The new owners of the Harvest Home site applied for planning permission for housing and last November were granted permission for three three-bed dwellings and two one-bed maisonettes.
But now, just six months later, they themselves have put the site up for sale with an asking price boosted by this permission for development.

The Harvest Home before closure.

Pub closures
It is possible that further pub closures may be on the cards. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, last month released national research that shows that the pub closure rate now stands at 12 per week. It is now aiming to get 100,000 petition signatures to force Parliament to debate above inflation rises in beer duty.

Whitchurch has lost a number of hostelries over recent years. One event that may be hit if more closed could be the annual Pub Race which raises considerable funds for local good causes.
This year’s event is being held next Sunday, June 3rd.
See: PUB RACE

Comments (1)

  • John Fox

    The Localism Act came in too late for Whitchurch to SAVE the Harvest Home, but this new development in the saga actually creates an opportunity for the community to salvage something from the debacle.

    There is provision in the Localism Act called the Community Right to Bid which gives a local community the chance to bid to buy and take over the running of assets that are of value to the local community. I believe that a good case could be made for the Harvest Home to be regarded as such an asset.

    This new right is described by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) on their website as “expected to come into effect in summer 2012”. It could well be in effect now – it would certainly be worth further investigation to explore possibilities.

    This website provides further information for you:
    http://communityrights.communities.gov.uk/what-are-community-rights/community-right-to-bid/

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