ARH20120421-1632-A55-101673 (resized) Harvest Home cleared site

The cleared site of the Harvest Home pub has permission for 5 dwellings.

The developer of the Winchester Road site where the Harvest Home pub once stood has applied to Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council to delay its payment of community funds, known as a section 106 agreement.

DELAY UNTIL A DWELLING OCCUPIED

The once-popular community gathering place was demolished after it was purchased by a London-based company, renamed to Harvester Properties (UK), for £300,000 last year. A campaign to try to save the pub was ultimately unsuccessful – see details HERE.

In May, the Council approved a plan by the owner to erect 5 homes on the site, which borders the Whitchurch conservation area and is located near to the intersection with Micheldever Road. Shortly afterwards, the owner put the site back onto the market for £400,000. The Land Registry still shows the same owner.

A director of a company incorporated in February – Box Space Limited – has now applied to the Council to ask that the payment of section 106 money for community projects be delayed from “commencement of development” to “occupation of any dwelling”.

NEARLY £30,000 FOR COMMUNITY PROJECTS

The section 106 agreement calls for these payments:

  • £15,195 — Basingstoke Environmental Strategy for Transport (BEST)*
  • £6,200 — Youth facilities in community centres nearby
  • £1,846.13 — Providing and maintaining open space nearby
  • £3,998.13 — Providing and maintaining play ground equipment
  • £1,923 — Providing and maintaining playing fields
  • TOTAL: £29,162.26
ARH20110929-0848-A55-015220 (resized)

The Harvest Home pub was demolished in September 2011.

The director told the Council, “Our reason for this request is because we are a new company (albeit staffed by experienced construction personnel) set up to invest and develop land in Hampshire.”

The director stated that if they “are required to pay the S106 monies up front, then the costs for implementing this scheme right now in the current economic climate may become prohibitive which is not in the best interests for the site, the local community or the Local Authority”

The director continued, “Financing any development work in the current climate is as you will appreciate very difficult, and companies need support and encouragement to invest and carry out work such as that which we are proposing with the Harvest Home site.”

NOT ESSENTIAL

The delay to section 106 monies for Environment and Transport are justified according to the director because “the existing infrastructure is surely more than able to cope with the increased traffic movements that a development of just 5 dwellings will cause”

The delay to section 106 community facility and open space contributions are justifiable because the monies “are not of sufficient size or scale in our opinion to be essential prior to occupation” according to the director’s statement.

COMPANIES HOUSE FILINGS

According to filings with Companies House, the sole director of Box Space Limited is also the sole director and secretary of Westbourne Southern Limited which was incorporated over 12 years ago, in June 2000.

The director is furthermore the sole director of a third company, Westbourne (Winchester) Limited that was incorporated in March 2011 – and was once also known as Box Space Limited. It had changed its name 5 days before the incorporation of the current company with that name.

The director of the current Box Space company uses an email address at Westbourne (Winchester) in its correspondence with the Council.

A second director’s appointment at Westbourne (Winchester) was terminated in August, but that is not yet reflected in that company’s website.

The director was asked to comment by this website but has not yet responded.

A decision by B&DBC on the application is anticipated to be made in December.


The developer’s application is BDB/77206 and their request is in its document HERE – you can give the Council your feedback by filling in their comment form HERE.
The Harvest Home section 106 agreement is HERE, which is in the approved planning application for the 5 homes in BDB/75465.

*The BEST contribution is to go towards “pedestrian, bus & cycle infrastructure within B3400 corridor: to include footpath scheme from Winchester Road to McFauld Way, side of Redleaf (est cost £20k) and Winchester Street (old A34), link along verge from West Street to The Old Police College (est cost £30k) and improvements to passenger waiting facilities at Whitchurch (est cost £40k) all as identified within the HCC preferred list of transport schemes and as apportioned by HCC in accordance with their Transport Contributions Policy guidelines.”

Comments (5)

  • Noel Privett

    If the “monies are not of sufficient size or scale,” then there should be no problem paying up, then.

  • Mike Stead

    Here’s one for [Cllrs.] Keith [Watts] & Eric [Dunlop] to get their teeth into: developers should not be able to flatten local amenities that employed locals and benefited the community, then sit on the land for years and years without paying up because they want to maximise profit on flipping the property.

    Ed.Note: There was, and is, a way (“Article 4”) for the Council to do what you suggest, but they voted not to. That was picked up by the BBC – see PUB DEMOLITION DEBATED…

  • Bev and Barry

    Another case of ….

    Developer gets to destroy rural community assets, ends up with lots of money and community loses out and has to put up with yet more excessive development with no additional infrastructure.

    Does anyone seriously believe that they will end up paying up after the development is completed and sold????

  • Graham Burgess

    I wrote to Sir George Young prior to the debate in The House of Commons.Due to his position he coud not speak but he promised to send me the Hansard Reoport on the proceedings. It is available on the web but the paper copy arrived and I have been able to read it at leisure.It is very interesting and one Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West) adds some interesting values to the argument. She believes pubs are places where many people talk and they are the Chambers of the real world..Pubs donate £120 million a year to charity and 27% of couples first met in a pub. All this plus the £21 billion a year they contribute to the economy .
    Another issue touched upon was posible new possibilities for businesses that can prove they provide a community assett getting very much reduced Business rates.

    I am happy to hand the Hansard papers on if anyone wants to look at them.

    Graham Burgess
    89 2837

  • Keith Watts

    It is possible that this application will be withdrawn.

    For this issue it is not legislation about pubs that you need to look up, it is legislation about “planning obligations”, soon to be the Community Infrastructure Levy.
    Keith

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