New twist in bitter fight over derelict Kirkby Malzeard pub


Oct 15, 2021
Henry Jenkins Inn Oct 2021
The now derelict Henry Jenkins, closed more than ten years ago

The acrimonious struggle over the former Henry Jenkins Inn in Kirkby Malzeard has taken a new twist.

Last week campaigners handed a 500-plus name petition to Harrogate Borough Council calling for part of the closed-down and derelict premises to be re-listed as an asset of community value (ACV).

But now Justin Claybourn has taken the property off the market and informed the Henry Jenkins Community Pub campaign group (HJCP) he will not sell to them ‘at any time or any price’.

Mr Claybourn, whose successful planning appeal in December 2020 gives him permission to create a single dwelling in the part of the building that he owns, is now going to press ahead with plans to convert it to residential use and create a family holiday home.

Campaigners to save the Henry Jenkins pub in Kirkby Malzeard, who were in Harrogate yesterday.

Campaigners collecting names for their petition in Harrogate.

His business associate and agent David Fielder, who owns the pub group Fielder Holdings, told the Stray Ferret:

“Since 2018 Mr Claybourn has owned the old joiner’s shop, previously known as the eastern annex of the Henry Jenkins.

“The pub closed more than 10 years ago and Mr Claybourn has become increasingly annoyed with the campaign group’s actions, in particular their third attempt to have his property listed as an ACV even after his successful planning appeal.

“He directly holds HJCP responsible for the cost of defending the three ACV applications but further in his opinion the cost of his planning appeal. These costs exceed £25,000.”

Mr Fielder added:

“Over the past 10 years, nobody, including HJCP, has made a bid meeting the criteria that the property was on offer for — i.e. backed by hard cash, not pledges.

“With this in mind, following the latest move by HJCP, my client asked me to formally instruct them that his property has been removed from sale and will not return to the market.

“I was also instructed to advise them that due to their actions and costs they have made Mr Claybourn incur he would never consider a sale of his property at any time or at any price to HJCP.”

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Richard Sadler, press spokesman for the Henry Jenkins Community Pub group, said:

“This statement comes as no surprise to us and changes nothing:  The only reason the Henry Jenkins has stood empty for the last 10 years is that Mr Fielder — and latterly his associate Mr Claybourn — have refused to sell it to anyone.

“We have submitted to the council statements from three prospective private buyers who wanted to buy and refurbish it as a pub and restaurant — including a Michelin two-star trained chef —  but they were told either that the asking price had been vastly inflated or that the pub had been sold.

“The Henry Jenkins Community Pub group has since made five offers to buy the pub at or above the price set by an independent valuer – but all these offers have been refused.”

“Despite this – and despite previous statements by Mr Fielder saying he would never sell the pub to us – we remain open and willing to discuss terms for a purchase of the Henry Jenkins as a community facility.”




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