29th November 2021 – Planning appeal is dismissed
Cast your mind back to February 2021… the new owner and planning applicant lodged their appeal to Breckland Council’s refusing to allow The White Hart Inn to become a private residence. More than 40 weeks on and her majesty’s planning inspector has dismissed the appeal. The full decision can be found here.
In short, the inspector decided that Mr. Wells and his team had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the pub was not viable, as such the application did not comply with Policy COM4 of the local plan. The inspector correctly identified that the business accounts provided by Buffy were unaudited and so vastly different from what we know the pub achieved in the hands of the most recent licensee.
It’s now time to ramp up our fundraising efforts, engage with residents, and open up dialogue with the owner in an effort to get The White Hart Inn open again.
Watch this space!!
18th June 2021 – Share Offer Extended
Due to the continued difficulty with face to face publicising of the society’s aims, the management committee have agreed to extend the closing date of the initial share offer to the end of August 2021. With the end of Covid restrictions in sight, the committee are planning social events where villagers and other potential investors can learn more about the aims and aspirations of the society.
3rd June 2021 – The White Hart Inn is SOLD
We learnt recently that the freehold of The White Hart Inn has been sold. Details are somewhat sketchy at the moment; we don’t know who the pub has been sold to, or what the new purchaser intends to do with the pub. We don’t know if the purchaser is the same person that has been trying to get planning permission to turn the pub into a residential property.
There is a chance that the new owner intends to reopen The White Hart Inn as a village pub, we live in hope!
What do we know?
- The planning appeal is still to be decided, it could be August before the planning inspectorate’s decision is known.
- The property has been sold as a pub. Without planning permission, the property cannot be used for any purpose other than a pub with overnight accommodation.
- We fully expect the planning appeal to be dismissed, we are not alone in believing that the applicant has not provided sufficient new evidence for the original refusal decision to be overturned.
- Change of use having been refused twice, and hopefully dismissed at appeal, the applicant or indeed any new purchaser should be prevented from reapplying for change of use for some time.
- The pub remains listed as an Asset of Community Value.
Does this mean it’s the end of the road for the community benefit society?
Certainly not! Until we know what the new purchaser intends to do with the property, the society must continue with its aim of returning The White Hart to a viable pub and village hub. The society will continue to seek investment with a view to purchasing the property should the new owner not want to reopen the pub themselves.
It is very much a case of “Watch This Space”. As soon as we know more we’ll be sure to let you know.
5th April 2021 – Share Offer Launch
So folks, it’s time to commit to supporting our village pub. The share offer is launched and will remain open until 31st May 2021.
12th March 2021 – The most recent planning rejection has been appealed.
Hello All, More news on the planning front! We have until 24th March to explain once again to the Authorities why we do not want to lose our pub. The appeal documents can be found here: http://planning.breckland.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/appealDetails?appeal=1899&back=no Their grounds for appeal can be found on this site, it is worth reading. Nothing new from their last submission, repeating much of the same contradictions and silliness.
Your comment on the appeal is encouraged. Comments can be lodged with the Planning inspectorate here: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3264038&CoID=0&fbclid=IwAR1jt0GqVTGTpShgx0Q0NiyH6x9kyo5emCaz0dTbT440PjRzOwoBJWfkFao
Please make it clear that you know that Breckland was right to deny planning permission; that our pub is essential to the Village life as we have no shop, no post office, no book lending service and no casual place to meet like a cafe; and there is no need for additional housing. One thing they can’t accept is that when the pub was properly managed, it was very popular and financially successful. Please make that point. There was a great response from the questionnaire, from the village, to help support the pub reopening, so please as many of you send in your objections. Please can you all get writing and putting in your objections to the planning appeal, incorporating these and any other points you want to add , that will be fantastic.
The Committee will also putting in its customary objection, along with the appropriate legal advice. The Local Camra team are also objecting to the application, supporting us to reopen the pub; the same pub they awarded a regional award to when it was being managed by a successful team. The Plunkett Foundation & More than a Pub, government funded organisations are in discussions with the Society to extend their help for us as well.
18th February 2021 – Good news from Plunketts. Our request for a grant/funds was received with enthusiasm. We now need to discuss the timing of the share launch.! Just need to tweak the application forms. Contrary to our fears there is still funds available!
8th February 2021 – Storm Darcy brought snow to Foulden. Hopefully they’ll be wisps of smoke rising from the White Hart’s chimneys again soon!
29th January 2021 – Our campaign features in today’s Lynn News. You can read the article here https://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/campaigners-battle-to-take-on-historic-west-norfolk-pub-9154736/?fbclid=IwAR3qzFz_Dd43roeCwwJeKzKFL80xfo84KIRR_X04F8Fc7r8QuKrt4i3mFBo