SAVE OUR VILLAGE PUB!

© Save the Cabinet Action Group 2018

Blog

Pedants’ Corner

Please allow me to get something off my chest.

There seems to be a widespread blind spot about the correct spelling of “licensed”, as in “licensed bar”.  Just to be clear, in UK English you need a licence to drive.  You can buy a drink in a licensed bar. “Licence” is a noun.  “License” is a verb.  In US English, the noun is spelled “license”. The spelling “licenced bar” (sic), is never correct - either in UK English or US English.  Yet we see that more often than any, it seems to me. I even found somebody on Twitter advertising their services as an expert in the “licenced trade” (sic).  Not a good advertisement for your expertise if you don’t even know the correct spelling of the trade.  (Fortunately, perhaps, I cannot now find this.) Oddly, the word “advice” - “advise” when it’s a verb - follows the same rule but doesn’t seem to cause such trouble. Of course, pub campaigners never make these mistakes, do they …?

Is the law working to protect our pubs?  Fairly

obviously not.

Pretty much everyone agrees: too many country pubs are closing.  And rural pubs

are part of a trinity at the heart of many English villages: the church, the cricket

club and the pub. 

Social interaction at pubs combats social isolation, stress and depression.  It provides a hub in villages.  Property buyers often look to see whether the village they are moving into has a pub – if it doesn’t it makes the village less attractive and depresses property values.  But there are rich pickings for developers who think they can make a fast buck from converting pubs and selling them as houses – without a care for the impact their money- grabbing has on communities. Fortunately, we are also seeing an increase in the number of determined village residents and others who are fighting back – including, in some cases, by buying up pubs to run as a community. Planning law is supposed to protect country pubs by creating a very high hurdle for owners of pubs to negotiate before they can turn them into houses – especially when, as in the case of The Cabinet, the property in question is the last pub in the village.  It is also supposed to provide a proper opportunity for communities – individuals and the parish councils that represent them – to have a proper say about what happens to key assets at the core of their villages.  The Localism Act 2011 was supposed – amid much fanfare at the time – to devolve power, including in respect of planning matter, to local communities and individuals. So is the law working?  Fairly obviously not.  The case of The Cabinet is ample demonstration.  Far from providing protection for the last pub in the village, the planning authority gave a huge hint to anyone thinking of buying the property that they would look kindly on an application for change of use – without any consultation of the local community whatsoever.  Coupled with the evidence that the previous owners rebuffed potential buyers and lessees who wanted to maintain The Cabinet as a pub, presumably in the hope of getting a higher price for the property with a view to its conversion to a dwellinghouse, and the failure of the planning authority to do anything to protect a key heritage asset when the new owner started hacking it about without planning permission or listed building consent – and you have a perfect storm. We were fortunate, as a campaign, that we were able to rely on the good sense of elected councillors to see through this circumvention of planning controls - especially when also presented with expert evidence showing that The Cabinet could be viable as a pub.  We’re now, as a community, faced with having to raise significant sums of money to resist a potentially complex planning appeal.  But the fact that we have reached the point we have, when hugely damaging changes have been made to The Cabinet and its owner allowed to do pretty much what he wants without a murmur from the planning authority, shows that there is something badly wrong with the system – or, at least, the way it is being given effect in North Hertfordshire.  The situation is little short of scandalous.

SAVE OUR VILLAGE PUB!

© Save the Cabinet Action group 2017 

Blog

Pedants’ Corner

Please allow me to get something

off my chest.

There seems to be a widespread blind spot about the correct spelling of “licensed”, as in “licensed bar”.  Just to be clear, in UK English you need a licence to drive.  You can buy a drink in a licensed bar. “Licence” is a noun.  “License” is a verb.  In US English, the noun is spelled “license”. The spelling “licenced bar” (sic), is never correct - either in UK English or US English.  Yet we see that more often than any, it seems to me. I even found somebody on Twitter advertising their services as an expert in the “licenced trade” (sic).  Not a good advertisement for your expertise if you don’t even know the correct spelling of the trade.  (Fortunately, perhaps, I cannot now find this.) Oddly, the word “advice” - “advise” when it’s a verb - follows the same rule but doesn’t seem to cause such trouble. Of course, pub campaigners never make these mistakes, do they …?

Is the law working to

protect our pubs?  Fairly

obviously not.

Pretty much everyone agrees: too

many country pubs are closing. 

And rural pubs are part of a trinity

at the heart of many English

villages: the church, the cricket

club and the pub. 

Social interaction at pubs combats social isolation, stress and depression.  It provides a hub in villages.  Property buyers often look to see whether the village they are moving into has a pub – if it doesn’t it makes the village less attractive and depresses property values.  But there are rich pickings for developers who think they can make a fast buck from converting pubs and selling them as houses – without a care for the impact their money-grabbing has on communities. Fortunately, we are also seeing an increase in the number of determined village residents and others who are fighting back – including, in some cases, by buying up pubs to run as a community. Planning law is supposed to protect country pubs by creating a very high hurdle for owners of pubs to negotiate before they can turn them into houses – especially when, as in the case of The Cabinet, the property in question is the last pub in the village.  It is also supposed to provide a proper opportunity for communities – individuals and the parish councils that represent them – to have a proper say about what happens to key assets at the core of their villages.  The Localism Act 2011 was supposed – amid much fanfare at the time – to devolve power, including in respect of planning matter, to local communities and individuals. So is the law working?  Fairly obviously not.  The case of The Cabinet is ample demonstration.  Far from providing protection for the last pub in the village, the planning authority gave a huge hint to anyone thinking of buying the property that they would look kindly on an application for change of use – without any consultation of the local community whatsoever.  Coupled with the evidence that the previous owners rebuffed potential buyers and lessees who wanted to maintain The Cabinet as a pub, presumably in the hope of getting a higher price for the property with a view to its conversion to a dwellinghouse, and the failure of the planning authority to do anything to protect a key heritage asset when the new owner started hacking it about without planning permission or listed building consent – and you have a perfect storm. We were fortunate, as a campaign, that we were able to rely on the good sense of elected councillors to see through this circumvention of planning controls - especially when also presented with expert evidence showing that The Cabinet could be viable as a pub.  We’re now, as a community, faced with having to raise significant sums of money to resist a potentially complex planning appeal.  But the fact that we have reached the point we have, when hugely damaging changes have been made to The Cabinet and its owner allowed to do pretty much what he wants without a murmur from the planning authority, shows that there is something badly wrong with the system – or, at least, the way it is being given effect in North Hertfordshire.  The situation is little short of scandalous.