The following has been received from the Save the Harvest Home campaign team. They stress this is as much about the protection of buildings of character and local amenity, and the underlying principles, as about saving of a pub.
It seems the Borough Council has now recognised that there is local support for the retention of the Harvest Home but have yet to still make a decision
OPEN LETTER TO ALL who care about the character and history of Whitchurch including those who represent us.
THE HARVEST HOME, WHITCHURCH officially a “building of local interest”
Nearly three weeks ago the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) requested that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council look at placing an ‘Article 4 Direction’ on the Harvest Home. The building is listed as a “building of local interest” and such an action would prevent demolition until at least a planning application has been submitted and considered.
There is an opportunity…
Local Branch Chairman, Phil Myatt says:
“North Hampshire CAMRA have called for the Borough Council to take action. They have an opportunity to prevent this pub’s demolition and to stop the loss of a fine building”. He added “the ball is really in the Council’s hands to protect our local amenities. Once these public buildings have been demolished they really are lost forever, there are no second chances to save our heritage”.
The 250+ who have responded to CAMRA’s petition are overwhelmingly in favour of the Council taking this action. The Council has acknowledges this local support but so far has not made a decision to protect the building.
Is there cold feet – to actually do something?
As the law presently stands an owner can apparently just send the bulldozers in overnight!
Is that right?
The Council claims they may be liable for compensation if they issued an Article 4, but it is unclear what this compensation would be for. However, a Senior Planning Inspector has told CAMRA that if the threatened building is covered by a local planning policy (e.g. a pub is classified as an important community facility) then serving Article 4 Directions shouldn’t give rise to compensation claims.’
The Harvest is listed as such.
In addition, B&DBC’s own Planning Guidance notes also state:
“An applicant wishing to demolish a building of local interest will need to demonstrate that they have thoroughly investigated all possible means of retention and/or reuse, before the Council will consider the merits of a proposed replacement building(s).”
So it is wholly in the hands of the Borough Council, but will they act?
Will they listen to the people of Whitchurch who care about their town and its special character?
This is about Whitchurch!
Although CAMRA has launched this ‘campaign’, it is NOT just about pubs – it is about protecting the character of the town; the heritage of where we live – our lifestyles, our history, our social fabric.
Where will be next?
Over 250 people have shown support for action by the Council as well as the Festival Committee and the History Society.
As long as the pub is standing, there is still time to lobby.
Contacts are on the Website
PETITION RESPONSES (and other comments)
There has been overwhelming support to prevent demolition of the Harvest Home before any planning permission has been submitted.
To be fair there have also been a couple of comments with alternative views – from W4W websites.
For those see the end of the comments list.
The comments can be viewed at:
WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING
There is also an article in the BASINGSTOKE GAZETTE