Government rejects bid to convert Kirkby Malzeard pub into house
Feb 14, 2023
Henry Jenkins Inn Oct 2021
The former Henry Jenkins pub in Kirkby Malzeard.

The government has rejected plans to convert a Kirkby Malzeard pub into a home.

David Fielder, who owns the former Henry Jenkins pub, challenged a Harrogate Borough Council decision to refuse the plan back in May last year.

The authority said “insufficient marketing” had been carried out to demonstrate that “in the absence of any use as a public house there is no alternative community use for which the property may be suitable”.

Mr Fielder challenged the decision and appealed to the government’s Planning Inspectorate.

However, a government planning inspector has dismissed the appeal and ruled in favour of the council.

David Wyborn, who oversaw the appeal, said in a decision notice that he felt all options for the pub had not been “fully explored”.

He said:

“Overall, while there are some concerns with the details for the community pub project which I have highlighted above, I consider that the plans of the Henry Jenkins Community Pub to open a community pub have a reasonable prospect of succeeding and being viable.

“There can be no certainty on this matter at this stage and I understand the objections and criticisms from the appellant who has wide experience on these matters. Nevertheless, in particular, in the absence of an independent valuation to assist with an offer and potential purchase, and with the information, analysis and comments I have examined above, I do not consider that the policy requirements in criterion C of Policy HP8 of the Local Plan have been met.

“Specifically, it has not been clearly demonstrated that there is no reasonable prospect of the existing public house use continuing on a viable basis and all options for continuing that use have not been fully explored.”

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The move is the latest turn in the ongoing saga over the pub and efforts from local campaigners to bring it back into community use.

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.

Richard Sadler, chair of the Henry Jenkins Community Pub group, said:

“We’re pleased that the inspector has taken the right decision and recognised that we are a genuine and credible community group- and that we should be given the chance to breathe new life into this much-loved local asset.

“We believe a revived Henry Jenkins could boost to our local economy, attract more visitors and transform the whole feel and atmosphere of the village.

“Harrogate council rightly has policies to protect facilities in rural areas and with our village expanding fast, the need for a wider range of services is greater than ever.”