White Hart, Hamstead Marshall – August 2018 update

As has been frequently reported in Penny Post, a number of pubs in the area are closing. Sometimes this is because they are genuinely not viable.  On other occasions, however, this may only be a pretext for converting them into housing: good news for the owners, perhaps, but often less good for the communities involved.

This development has led to a number of local campaign groups being established to rally local support, to formulate alternative plans for the maintenance or restoration of the pub and to raise funds. One such is the Save the White Hart Action Team in Hamstead Marshall.  This saga has been running for some time: you can read a bit about the background here or visit the Team’s Facebook page here. Contact details are provided below should you have any questions not answered from these links or if you wish to get involved in the campaign in any way.

The current (August 2018) situation – and see the campaign’s Facebook page for more – is that an offer has been made to lease the pub, as a pub: if this is accepted, the freehold will thus remain with the current owner.

Earlier this year, an appeal was made by the present owner against West Berkshire Council’s decision to refuse a change of use to convert the White Hart into accommodation. HM Planning Inspectorate rejected the appeal, largely on the grounds that it had not been demonstrated by the owners that the pub was no longer viable (a key test in obtaining such a change of use).

Please see below the letter from the campaign group which was instrumental in producing responses to support the view that a pub in the village would be welcomed. (As the appeal process has now concluded, the text has been greyed.)

White Hart, Hamstead Marshall planning appeal:

Dear Supporters,

Happy New year and apologies for asking you to take time to write once again.

As you will probably know, the owner of the White Hart has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate (PI) West Berks refusal of change of use from public house into dwellings. This will go before a hearing, probably in February.

The campaign team is even more convinced that the Inn is viable with fresh evidence of the owner’s unwillingness to see it up and running successfully.

The Planning Inspectorate has set a deadline of 19 January for ALL submissions and we urge you to write or email as soon as possible (we’ve advised 18 January above as we’re not certain at what time on 19 Jan the deadline falls). What you submit can be very similar to your submission to WBC last time – guidance below.

We had about 180 objections last time and we really need to achieve similar levels of public concern to have an impact with the Inspectorate. Please support this campaign.

Either do it online:
Click here to visit the appropriate page of the Appeal Casework Portal HM Planning Inspectorate’s website.
Click ‘Make representation’,
Click ‘Save and continue’.
Fill in your details to Register as an ‘Interested party’.
Save and continue.
Either attach a separate document  or fill in the box  with your objections.

Or write, sending three copies, to: 
Ms Linda Hutton, Room 3/P, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN.

If writing you must quote:

 Site Address: White Hart Inn, Hamstead Marshall, Newbury, RG20 0HW
• Description of development: Change of use from public house (ClassA4) to four dwelling houses (Class C3) with external alterations and landscaping following refusal of 15/02727/FULD and 17/00103/FULD
• Appellants name:The White Hart Inn (Hamstead Marshall) Limited.
• PI appeal reference: APP/W0340/W/17/3185410
• Appeal start date: 15 December 2017


Your objections should be in planning terms and not involve any derogatory comments and could consider the following objections:

The viability of the White Hart and why it failed
Value of the inn to you, as a village asset and the cohesion of the village community
The importance of planning regs. and guidelines which stress the importance of pubs in the community
There have been a number of highly credible third parties interested in acquiring the inn
Any other reasons you think appropriate.

NB We would be grateful if you could inform us if and when you register an objection – please email David Harris, Anne Budd John Handy

If you have any queries please contact one of the following:
  John Handy 01635 254 800 or 07831 14 14 35
  David Harris 01488 658 330
Anne Budd  01488 657 022
  Paul Hemingway 07973 412 945

Thank you for your support and your time and apologies if you have already registered an objection with the PI

Best wishes,

John Handy
Chairman of ‘Save the White Hart Action Team.

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