SAVE OUR WHITE HORSE!!




Contact Us

THE LAST CHANCE TO SAVE THE WHITE HORSE!!

Please object to the proposed plan to convert the pub into a private residence

Great News - Our Kimpton Parish Council voted to support us by objecting to the proposed planning application.

It was still possible to send emails to Tom.Rea@north-herts.gov.uk quoting the ref 21/01018/FP after the closing date and many people did just that.

See below for links to press comments about the campaign!

Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SaveOurWhiteHorse

GO SOWH!!


Click here to link to the Comet Article


Click here to link to the Hitchin Nub News article


SAVE OUR WHITE HORSE

Please let NHDC have your objections to the planning application for change of use to residential!

It's not too late - You can still try to comment by sending emails to NHDC Planning Department

Planning Applications for the White Horse have finally been registered with NHDC. It is clear from the plans that the current owner is not seriously intending to keep the building as a pub. They can be viewed here:

The White Horse Public House, 22-24 High Street, Kimpton, Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG4 8RJ

21/01018/FP - Change of Use and Conversion to Residential

Link to Proposal 21/01018/FP

We now have advice from our Planning Consultant regarding the planning law objections that can be used for residents’ comments via the NHDC portal. The deadline was Friday 7th May but you might still be able to comment by sending an email to Tom Rea Tom.Rea@north-herts.gov.uk Please submit your comments asap. The Parish Council meeting on Weds 28th April discussed the proposal and objected to it.

Here is the link to the planning application on the NHDC website. https://pa2.north-herts.gov.uk/online-applications/

It is important that everyone gives their own personal views but feel free to use information from the points below, which include planning policy objections. It is important not to cut and paste but to use your own words, for instance if everyone uses the phrase ‘Trojan Horse’ it will look like you have been given a script to regurgitate! We recommend you write your comments as a word document, copy and then paste into the portal to avoid time-out.

If you wish your comments to be confidential you can email them direct to the Case Officer at NHDC : Tom Rea Tom.Rea@north-herts.gov.uk


Objection to the application

Here is an example of a personalised opening paragraph which could be followed by any or all of the points below in your own words:

As a resident of Kimpton, I wish to voice my strong objection to the planning application referenced above. My family and I moved to the village in 1989. Both I and my husband were regular users of the White Horse until its closure, visiting for meals and for various social occasions. On average I expect we made use of the pub's hospitality about 5 or 6 times a month… etc

• The planning proposal is for Change of Use from Public House to Mixed Use/Residential. Only approximately 16% of the proposed plan is for pub use in the form of a micropub. The White Horse is listed by NHDC as an Asset of Community Value, renewed as recently as August 2020, demonstrating that NHDC considered there was future viability for the White Horse as a full service pub with dining. The proposed micropub would clearly not fulfil this need. This Change of Use would be contrary to the spirit of the National Planning Policy Framework which protects services in rural areas and valued community facilities (Paragraphs 83 and 92).

• A significant concern is that this is a Trojan Horse application. That is, the applicant has presented a scheme which is supposed to preserve the White Horse's use as a pub but the intention is for a complete conversion to residential at a later time. The Trojan Horse phenomenon has been recognised by many planning authorities, including the Planning Inspectorate, in refusing permission for similar mixed use schemes. The consequence of permitting this scheme would ultimately be to deprive the community of a hospitality venue of value to the whole of the Kimpton community, contrary to policy.

• The owner has not demonstrated in evidence that the White Horse is not viable as a public house. No figures have been produced showing its trading history, nor has any account been taken of how the premises might operate in its present unchanged form. You may be familiar with the Red Lion at Preston which was taken into community ownership many years ago and in which form it flourishes to the present day. There is no reason why Kimpton residents should not do the same.

• The Save Our White Horse community group has spent considerable time and effort since the pub was closed, in attempting to reinstate it as a community facility. Local operators have expressed a keen interest in running the White Horse, including the CEO of Farr Brew brewery in Wheathampstead, who has publicly expressed a willingness to operate the White Horse as a full service public house (food, drinks, events) to a similar high standard as the Elephant & Castle, another Farr Brew brewery enterprise.

• The village does have another public house, the Boot which performs a valuable service to the community but does not meet the needs of all of Kimpton's residents. It caters for those who like to watch sport on their large TV, and has a different feel to that of the White Horse which is a more traditional country pub. A renewed White Horse would complement the service offered by the Boot. In the light of capacity restrictions due to Covid and the upcoming planned growth in housing in the village, there needs to be an expansion of facilities in the village.

• The scale of the works required to the listed building to convert the premises to its assortment of new uses is unjustified in terms of both planning policy and the Listed Buildings Act 1990. Since the change of use is of no benefit to the community, the works themselves in the Listed Building Application, which accompanies the Change of Use application, ought also to be refused.

• Over the last few years the population of the village has grown, with the addition of new housing, and more proposed, so the need to keep valuable community assets intact is paramount. Coronavirus has also led to many more Kimpton residents working from home, so the need to retain facilities is even more important.


Here are some additional points which you might like to make when registering your objection.

We have had extensive talks over the past months with NHDC and our parliamentary representative Bim Afolami who supports our aims to regain the White Horse as a community asset. With the help of interested parties we hope to secure the future of the White Horse for the benefit of the village.

It is important for Kimpton residents who want the pub to re-open as a viable business with a food offering to make their views known. Please go onto the NHDC planning portal to have your say:


Thank you for your continued support

SOWH

Please quote the following reference: 21/01018/FP on all correspondence, and submit your comments by Friday 7th May 2021

For further information or to pledge your support, please contact SOWH (Save Our White Horse) by email at

campaign@saveourwhitehorse.co.uk

Check us on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/SaveOurWhiteHorse


GoFundMe

We have set up a Go Fund Me Page to help out with our costs for fighting this application. If you are able to help in any way, no matter how small, please go to

https://gofund.me/12132f31


PLEASE REGISTER YOUR SUPPORT



Get in Touch

Feel free to drop us a line below!

* Required fields

The name was invalid. The phone number was invalid.
Sending email ...
Message sent successfully!
ERROR: Message not sent.