Charity says latest pub decision should set precedent for those still in peril!

13th Jul 2012PlanningPubs

This week the Planning Inspectorate dismissed an Appeal from the owners of the Carpenters Arms against the City Council’s decision to refuse permission to redevelop the public house into private accommodation.

Local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future (CambridgePPF) welcomes this decision by planning officials and believes that recent appeal decisions should now set a precedent when it comes to deciding the future of other city pubs that remain under threat.

Carolin Gohler, Chief Executive of CambridgePPF, said: “The news that the Planning Inspector has thrown out the Carpenters Arms appeal is a great boost to the future of other Cambridge pub properties that remain in peril. It confirms that new national planning policies must include substantiated evidence that a public house is no longer viable before it can be redeveloped. This must include proof that the pub’s freehold has been properly marketed at a fair price for the business. This safeguard is a perfectly reasonable step and essential in ensuring that property developers can not simply step in and profit at the expense of the community that a pub once served.”

CambridgePPF recently wrote to Cambridge City Council regarding planning policy on public houses in the city. The charity asked the local planning team to take into account recent Appeal decisions when considering the future of other public houses that face redevelopment or demolition.

Recent interpretations of the NPPF by the Inspectors Appeals for The Plough (Shepreth); The Unicorn (Cherry Hinton); and now The Carpenters Arms, show that:

  • The closure of a public house, or its change of use to a Restaurant (A3), doesn’t mean it should no longer be treated as a public house for planning purposes and that the provisions of the NPPF Paragraph 70 still apply. A former public house is still a public house.
  • There must clear and substantiated evidence that a public house is no longer viable or needed. Other operators should have had an opportunity to purchase and run the pub.
  • That the definition of whether there is ‘a community-need’ should take account of whether a population is growing.

Concluding Carolin Gohler said: “We believe that it is important that these latest indications from the Planning Inspectorate are taken into account in forthcoming planning decisions in the City. We are thinking specifically about the future of The Rosemary Branch (Church End); The Dog & Pheasant in Chesterton; and The Penny Ferry (previously the Pike & Eel), which we feel – with some imagination, community involvement and the right sort of investment – could remain valuable community assets.”

If you have not already done so, please consider signing the current petition by Old Chesterton Residents Association to save the Penny Ferry – a wonderful riverside location along the Cam:



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