Minutes 21 April 2015

TUESDAY 21 APRIL 2015 AT 7.30 PM

Councillors: Mrs W Soilleux (Chair); G Davies (Vice-Chair); R Williams; Mrs L Hoppé; Mrs F Matthews; P Wargent and Mrs J Karayiannis

In Attendance:
Mrs E Wilson (Parish Clerk/RFO); Lucinda Rowberry (Chair NDPSG)

Members of the public: 27

1. To Accept Apologies for Absence
Apologies received from Cllrs D Greenow; M Wilson and N Shore

2. To Receive Declarations of Interest and Applications for Dispensations
Resolved: None Received

3. To consider a response to the Consultation on the Core Strategy Modifications
Comments: The Chair explained that the original figure of 117 for new housing was based on the number of dwellings in the main villages. The modifications base the calculation on the total number of dwellings in the parish. This gives a total recommendation of 152. From that figure would be deducted housing completions and any housing commitments (Planning Applications approved by the Herefordshire Council. It should be remembered that the total of 152 new houses in the next 15 years is indicative and can be changed if it is considered inappropriate.
Resolved: The Parish Council resolved that a response should be sent to Herefordshire Council that they are generally in agreement with the modified Core Strategy.

4. To consider the following Planning Applications:

150870 The New Inn, Bartestree, Hereford
Change of use from A4 Public House including residential to residential only
Comments: Prior to the Parish Council considering the planning application, the 27 members of the public in attendance were invited to make constructive comments. There was a detailed discussion between the members of the Parish Council and the local residents.
Resolved: The Parish Council unanimously agreed not to support this planning application and wished to submit the following comments:

It is considered that the proposal to convert the use of the pub is premature. No effort has been made to market the New Inn to sell as a going concern. A pub is key to community life and to lose it would be the loss of an important social asset.

The New Inn is a Listed Building and is at the core of Bartestree. The loss of the only pub in the village would be a big mistake. Once it is gone, it would be virtually impossible to restore. The New Inn started as a pub some 50 years ago. If the building was properly restored there is little doubt that it would attract tourists, given its heritage and the rare local tiles it houses. There are a number of outbuildings to the rear of the main building and the potential for community use is enormous.

The New Inn is in a good central location close to the very large Wilcroft Park housing estate, which makes it within walking distance for a large number of people. It also has a reasonably sized car park and is not far from the main city and other local villages. No doubt if properly managed, this could be a very successful business as the catchment area is very large. Bartestree Village Hall and the Football and Cricket Clubs are just across the road. All enjoy regular and active social events and the potential for increased footfall to the pub is great.

Herefordshire Council has recently approved development of 70 new houses and an application for a further 51 is awaiting appeal decision. There would be a reduction in amenities to service the increased population of Bartestree. The building could be utilized to provide a range of public services as well as a local pub. Whilst the Parish Council accept that an individual cannot be forced to sell his/her property (save by way of a Compulsory Purchase Order), it feels that no effort has been made by the current owner to adequately invest in and properly manage the New Inn as a business. Indeed it is apparent that there has been no investment in the reasonable upkeep of the property during the past 25 years, as can be seen from the dilapidated state of it.

The New Inn has recently been added to the Herefordshire Council’s list of Assets of Community Value, where it will remain for five years. There are a number of residents who have expressed an interest and are committed to do all they can to maintain the New Inn as a pub, with other possible community uses. The loss of such an important potential utility for both Bartestree and Lugwardine would be devastating to the community.

Meeting concluded at 8:25pm

Signature of Chair                                Date: 12 May 2015