Bid to convert Kirkby Malzeard pub at centre of long-running campaign
Jan 25, 2022
Henry Jenkins Inn Oct 2021
The former Henry Jenkins pub has been closed since 2011

The acrimonious tug of war over the now-derelict former Henry Jenkins Inn in Kirkby Malzeard, has entered a new phase.

David Fielder, who owns the western portion of the building, has submitted a planning application to Harrogate Borough Council to convert it into a single dwelling.

The application, which will be considered by council planners later this year, was considered last night by Kirkby Malzeard, Laverton and Dallowgill Parish Council, which decided to adopt a neutral stance, by neither objecting to, nor supporting the proposal.

Mr Fielder, who attended the meeting, told the Stray Ferret:

“I’m happy with that decision, as it shows that the parish is not opposing the application and I hope that we can move on from here.

“Planning permission is already in place for the eastern annex of the building to be converted to residential use by my business associate Justin Claybourn and I believe it would make sense for HBC to approve my similar application and hopefully bring this saga to an end.”

One of Harrogate district’s oldest pubs

The Henry Jenkins, which is named after a man that legend states lived to be 169-years-old, is one of the oldest inns in the Harrogate district. It closed in 2011.

In 2017 the Henry Jenkins Community Pub group successfully obtained an Asset of Community Value listing for the building.

However, in 2018, the listing on the eastern annex was removed by the council, when the property was sold to Mr Claybourn.

Since then, the campaign group has made three unsuccessful attempts to have the listing reinstated on the eastern portion of the building — which it said was crucial to its plans to reopen the Henry Jenkins as a community facility comprising a pub, bistro and coffee shop.

HJCP chair Richard Sadler said:

“Harrogate Borough Council quite rightly has rigorous policies to protect and enhance community facilities ‘unless it can be clearly demonstrated … there is no reasonable prospect of the existing use continuing on a viable basis with all options for continuance having been reasonably explored’.

“Well in this case there is every chance the Henry Jenkins Inn can be revived and refurbished as a community-owned pub and restaurant. More than 170 villagers have banded together and raised more than £230,000 in pledges and shares and we should now be in a strong position to qualify for another £230,000 in government match funding.”

Case for re-opening ‘stronger than ever’

Mr Sadler added that the case for regenerating the 250-year-old Henry Jenkins was stronger now than ever, with the pandemic leading to increased awareness of the importance of places for people to meet up and socialise.

“Here in Kirkby Malzeard, as elsewhere, we have more people working from home, many more new houses are planned and there’s an urgent need for a broader range of facilities.

“A revitalised Henry Jenkins would boost the local economy – providing jobs, encouraging people to go out more in the village and attracting more visitors to the area.

“We already have one pub – the Queen’s Head – but this is one of the largest villages in the area and all the evidence suggests there is room for a different type of pub serving a different clientele.

“We trust that our elected representatives will do the right thing by sticking to their policies and putting the long-term interests of the wider community above those of a private developer looking to make a quick profit.”

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