Objecting to the planning application to Convert outbuildings to form holiday cottages in the Henry Jenkins Pub.

A new planning application for the Henry Jenkins Inn has been made by James Claybourn for conversion of outbuildings to form a holiday cottage.

This is obviously just a tactic designed to deter our attempts for the local community save the pub, but the community needs to demonstrate to the North Yorkshire planners and the Council as a whole that we are united in our aim to save our historic landmark pub by objecting to these plans in great numbers.

To help you formulate your objection, please see our notes below with some of the points we will be making in our response to North Yorkshire Council.

It is important to note that the Council takes a dim view of ‘cut and paste’ or pre-populated letters of objection, so please put your points across in your own words. Your objection need not be long or detailed – just a few paragraphs will do!

How to lodge your objection

To lodge your objection, click through to the planning application, then scroll down and click on comments.
You will need to register if you haven’t already registered with Harrogate BC.

Considerations for your objection

Objections to the development fall into two categories; 1 – Against the interests of the local community, and 2 – The application for conversion of the outhouses is not a suitable development.

1 – Against the interests of the local community

  • David Fielder, pub owner and his associate Justin Claybourne are clearly seeking to split this ancient pub site by dividing it up through repeated planning applications, only one of which has ever been won (on Appeal) in an attempt to making it unviable as a community pub.

  • The Henry Jenkins pub, as a successful community enterprise (‘community pubs survive and prosper, by definition!’ quote from the Plunkett’s Foundation) is a key part in the overall development and aspiration of our rural community, which is looking to further develop its business, community and venue assets. It makes the pride in this community and its future prosperity as a place to ‘work, live and invest’ ever more firmly grounded.
    The number of community pubs is growing month by month – over 160 to date – and though they have suffered from the rise in energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis, still none of them have failed.
    Community pubs are unique in the sense that they actively seek the view of local people in how they would like the pub to run and what services they would like to provide, so local people have a say.

  • The community pub can play a key role in the support of youth initiatives, in helping address rural isolation, communal mental health, and provide a hub for a community allotment society, the Mens’ Shed project and all aspects of local business. Commerce and family support are addressed by a true community led Pub resource. This centre will address these and so many other community issues including, but not restricted to, environmental support through the provision of charging points, public toilets with 24 hour access, a space for groups and societies, an outdoor centre meeting point.

  • The healthy support as well as competition that two very distinct village pub venues can provide for this rapidly expanding community are clear. A pub/bistro will complement and work alongside the Queen’s Head, the Fish and Chip shop and other community recreational providers; the community is providing so many communal events and business opportunities now as well as a burgeoning population growth.

  • The Henry Jenkins Community Pub (HJCP) Ltd has a local membership of nearly 180 people who have pledged to purchase Community Shares to the value of £230,000. This shows strong community support for the eventual purchase and refurbishment of the Pub.

  • The UK government also is concerned about local communities losing local assets. So much so, that they have allocated £150 million fund over 4 years through the The Community Ownership Fund to “support community groups across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to take ownership of assets which are at risk of being lost to the community.” (From the government website)

  • The government grant of £330,000 brings the purchase and refurbishment of the Henry Jenkins well within our reach.

  • The Henry Jenkins Community Pub (HJCP) Ltd has made a number of offers to purchase the Pub, at or over the valuation by an independent valuer. All have been refused.

  • The Harrogate Borough Council refused all planning applications for redevelopment of the Henry Jenkins. We trust that North Yorkshire Council will see to it to do the same for this application.

2 – The application for conversion of the outhouses is not a suitable development

  • The co-owners of the Henry Jenkins site, David Fielder and Justin Claybourn, have retained a ‘ransom strip’ across the main entrance to the original pub site so that they can retain and or refuse access to the pub car park should it become a community pub.

  • A Building Regulations application is required for this type of application – there is nothing attached.

  • The plan states that ‘existing walls’ will be used. The building is now in such poor repair after many years of neglect that these are highly unlikely to be of any use.

  • The potential holiday cottage shares a joint wall with the Henry Jenkins pub. This is also in a very poor state of repair after many years of neglect by the owner. The roof alongside the potential holiday cottage is very overgrown and looks close to collapse.

  • The land in front and to the side of the property is described in one document as garden and in another as car parking. It cannot be both.

  • The future of the pub building, currently owned by Mr Fielder, is currently uncertain.

  • It is not clear whether the car parking access is planned from Main Street via the Eastern Annex car park or from Back lane – this is not shown on the plans. If from the Back lane this would require a new access on to a narrow lane, with a No Entry sign on the Western side of the lane well before the building, adding to the difficulty of access.

  • The proposed building is extremely small and hardly seems viable as a marketable holiday let – leading to the general impression that this is a clear ruse to split the site and make it unviable as a community pub.

  • The drawing of the existing elevation gives a false impression of the existing buildings, which are in a much worse state of repair than indicated on the plans.

  • There is a note on the screening assessment form that says the outbuildings were, ‘never part of the operational Henry Jenkins Public House’. In fact, the area of pub car park in this application was an important part of the operating pub because it includes both car parking space and the space where deliveries were made to the kitchens at the rear. The outlined area on this plan includes access to the car park from the street and also the rear wall, that could provide access to the Back Lane. If this outlined area is an integral part of the plan it means that there is no access to the rear of the building for a potential owner of the pub building.

  • Mr Fielder, the pub owner, has always asserted that the pub is for sale. This is an important point in the argument over the right of the community(or anyone) to buy the pub building. This application removes access to the rear of the pub and the potential for a pub car park. This clearly reduces the viability of the pub building as a pub, and so is inconsistent with the assertion that the pub is genuinely for sale.

  • and on which this application is sited was in a previous application (UPRN 010094450678) designated as part of the Henry Jenkins Inn and not as part of the eastern Annex site. The boundary line of the property, shown in red on this application, is materially different to the boundary line shown on the previous planning application. This shift in boundary line raises unanswered questions over land ownership, parking availability and road access.