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.
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.
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