Henry Jenkins listed as Asset of Community Value

The Henry Jenkins has FINALLY been listed as an Asset of Community Value by Harrogate Borough Council, following a sustained, high-profile campaign by the Save the Henry Jenkins group.

This is a very significant development – and a decision that we believe was the right one given the overwhelming evidence pointing to the value of the Henry Jenkins to the local community … and its future potential.

The decision means that this much-missed pub, which has been a hub of the community in Kirkby Malzeard for many generations, will have special status as a community asset for the next five years. This will make planning approval for change of use or redevelopment less likely. It also means that if the owner should decide to sell it, he must notify the council and allow time for a possible community buyout. In this event there would be a six-month moratorium to allow plans for a community bid to be put together – during which time the pub could not be sold to any one else. “Permitted Development Rights” – which would have allowed the status of the Henry Jenkins to be downgraded to “offices” under a loophole in planning law – have been removed.

Plans will now be progressed towards the idea of a community buyout, with the widest possible involvement of people in Kirkby Malzeard and surrounding parishes. Recently a fact-finding tour was organised of other successful community-owned pubs and momentum has been slowly building, with informal pledges already being made to buy community shares. One of the first objectives is to secure start-up funding from the Plunkett Foundation, a charity that distributes Government grant aid for community buyouts and offers practical advice. Later in the year a public meeting will be called to outline options for the possible future purchase, renovation and reopening of the Henry Jenkins.

There is still a long way to go before a pint of beer can once again be poured in the Henry Jenkins and nothing can be taken for granted. However today’s decision is an important milestone in the campaign to save this historic pub.

* THE Henry Jenkins was originally nominated as an ACV in December, 2016, but in March listing was refused by Harrogate Borough Council on the grounds that because the pub had been closed for a period of years, it had lost its connection with the local community.

A new nomination was submitted earlier this year with important new evidence including letters of support from ten community groups who used to use the Henry Jenkins – and would like to do so again. Evidence was also submitted from some of the 95 individuals who registered objections to the planning application for demolition/redevelopment (refused by the council on February 28th) . The Save the Henry Jenkins group has contacted senior councillors and council executives and enlisted the support of Harrogate & Ripon CAMRA, the Henry Jenkins Memorial Society, Skipton & Ripon MP, Julian Smith, and Kirkby Malzeard ward councillor, Margaret Atkinson. The council’s refusal of ACV listing – and the campaign to save the Henry Jenkins – has also attracted publicity on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio York, Stray FM, the Ripon Gazette, the Northern Echo and the Yorkshire Post, which reported in March that Harrogate had one of the worst records of any council in the region for approving ACV nominations.

The council’s official letter confirming the listing of the Henry Jenkins as an ACV under the 2011 Localism Act states “there is a time in the recent past when an actual use of the building … furthered the social well-being or social interests of the local community” and “it is realistic to think there is a time in the next five years when there could be … use of the building .. that would further social well-being or social interests.”