Whitchurch has always been known as a small country town with a great selection of traditional public houses and characterful buildings, but these attractions for local people and visitors alike are being eroded.

Last year the Railway Hotel was bulldozed without any planning permission for a change of use – that only came later once a well-loved community amenity had already been lost.

Now the Harvest Home is similarly under threat. Security shutters were installed at the end of last year and an 8- foot fence has now been erected around the site

The local Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is asking the Council to protect the building from demolition or major works until a planning application is submitted.

This is not just about public houses
Planners are being asked to stand up against developers who may demolish ANY building of local community importance without permission. This is also being taken through government channels but it is not yet on the Statute book.

The Harvest Home was a beer house in the 1840’s, suffered fire damage, and the present building was built in the 1920s. It is of a traditional roadhouse design – a style fast disappearing. It fell into the hands of a PubCo who, it is claimed, seemed intent on underinvesting to make it fail, and the last licensee and hard-working family had to shut up shop.

Concern for Pub Race and local trade
There is also concern for the annual Pub Race that raises funds locally:
No Pubs = No Race = No funds for Good Causes.
Then there are all the people who be locked out from their jobs – from window cleaners to food suppliers, and those shops and businesses that benefit from their wages spend lose out too. Studies have shown that a local pub brings an average of £80,000 of wealth to a community in this way.
The Whitchurch History Society is also supporting this campaign and has offered support.

Local people are being urged to help save this building.
The risk of demolition before any consultation is very high and another historic Whitchurch building which adds important valuable character to the Town would be gone forever.

More than the loss of a Pub
CAMRA wants everyone to understand this is also MORE than the loss of a pub.
A petition is being run that asks all who care about Whitchurch’s social heritage for support, whether it be pubs, parish halls, post offices or corner shops.

This states:

We believe the Harvest Home, or any community building, should not be allowed to be demolished before any application for planning permission has been made or granted.

It can be found HERE along with further details and contacts.

All are being urged to make their views known.