SAVE OUR VILLAGE PUB!

© Save the Cabinet Action Group 2018

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Photo courtesy of Clive Porter

Campaign launches petition to ensure an open and

transparent appeal

The Save the Cabinet Action group has launched a petition to the Planning Inspectorate to make sure that the developer’s appeal is heard by way of a hearing or an inquiry, and not just on the papers. The Planning Inspectorate is the body, independent of North Herts District Council, which hears appeals on planning decisions. Appeals can be dealt with by way of a written procedure, by way of a hearing (at which all parties can be represented) or an inquiry (a more formal procedure, in the course of which evidence is given on oath and the parties are often represented by lawyers). The Action Group takes the view that the level of local interest in the case of The Cabinet, the disputed evidence submitted to the Planning Committee, and the approach taken by planning officers (including a report described by
the Chair of the Action group as “shockingly biased”) makes a hearing or an inquiry essential. The petition argues that this case is an important test of the planning system – not only in relation to how it protects community assets such as pubs, but also as to how it deals with unscrupulous developers who deliberately ignore the requirements of planning law in the hope of maximising their profit. It is essential that the appeal is dealt with transparently and openly, with a proper opportunity for interested parties to make representations and for the Planning Inspector to examine all the evidence in detail. The Action Group is asking all supporters to sign the petition. It’s accessible from this page, or you can click here.
Developer’s appeal goes live The developer who owns The Cabinet lodged his appeal against refusal of planning permission for change of use some months ago.  After a lengthy period of “validation” the appeal is now live.  We expect anyone who submitted written representations to receive formal notification of the appeal from North Hertfordshire District Council within days, and to have the opportunity to make representations in response to the appeal. The first step will be to persuade the Planning Inspectorate to hold a hearing or an inquiry, rather than to deal with the matter on paper.  Appeals usually start as “written procedure”, but can be made into an hearing if there is sufficient public interest or if the evidence in the case is complex - as is the case here.  Our petition to the Planning Inspectorate has now been submitted (though you can still sign it in case additional weight is needed later).    It’s important that supporters make representations too.  Advice as to how to do so is on this page.

Public Inquiry into Cabinet planning decision

The day after the Planning Inspectorate announced it had upgraded the appeal in the case of The Cabinet to a hearing, we learned that they have upgraded it still further. It will now take the form of a Public Inquiry - the most formal and thorough procedure for dealing with planning appeals. Initially we had been informed that the appeal would be dealt with via the “written procedure”. We can now look forward to the evidence in the case being examined in detail during a court-like procedure involving evidence on oath and lawyers on all sides. The decision demonstrates the importance and significance attached to the case. The Action Group welcomes this. It would have been a travesty if a case which had attracted so much interest had been dealt with behind closed doors. The intervention of Sir Oliver Heald MP (who wrote to the Planning Inspectorate), the Action Group’s recent petition (which attracted over 1400 signatures online and in hard copy), the large volume of written objections and the strength of feeling expressed in the debate in the Council last July will all have contributed to this outcome. No date has yet been fixed for the Inquiry. However we have now learned that the Planning Inspectorate will re- start the timetable for the appeal - so there will be a
further opportunity to submit comments and a new set of deadlines. Our current thinking is that the Inquiry itself will take place in the autumn. It’s important to remember that this is just a small step on the road to rescuing our lovely old pub. The focus now needs to turn to the substance of the appeal itself, and making sure we achieve the right result.. We also need to raise several thousand pounds urgently in order to meet the costs - including legal costs - of resisting the appeal effectively. If you can spare a few pounds, now would be a good time to help.

New deadlines for comments on the appeal

As previously announced, the Planning Inspectorate has restarted the timetable for the appeal. Comments from interested parties - including supporters and the Save the Cabinet Action Group itself - must now be submitted by 14 June. See the panel opposite for advice as to how to do so. Meanwhile, in an important procedural step, the Action Group has been granted what is known as “Rule 6 status”. This means the Group has the same status as the developer and the Council, including the right to appoint a lawyer.

Public Inquiry provisionally set for November

The parties to the appeal - the appellant (i.e. the developer who owns the pub), the District Council and the Save the Cabinet Action group - have all agreed on a dates of 6-8 November for what is expected to be a three-day public inquiry. Provided a Planning Inspector can be allocated to the case for those dates, that is when the appeal will take place. Whilst we might have preferred to move ahead with the
case more quickly, we do accept that a major event such as a public inquiry requires considerable preparation on all sides. The Action Group will use the time, with our advisers, to piece together the best possible case in favour of preserving our lovely old pub. We will publish more news when we have it. Meanwhile, we are asking supporters to put the dates in their diaries. We will need a good turnout of supporters when the inquiry takes place.
Older news stories can now be found on the News Archive page.

Dates confirmed for Public Inquiry

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that the Public Inquiry will take place over three days from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 November at the Council offices at Letchworth. Three days are considered necessary because of the time needed to hear expert evidence. Inquiries usually include a period for interested parties
such as members of the public to speak to set out their concerns normally on the final day - in this case, 8 November. The Action Group is asking supporters to put the dates in diaries now. We recognise that it’s a long way off and that for many the Inquiry will take place during working hours, but we will need as many supporters as can to attend. This can really help influence the Inspector by demonstrating the level of community support for the campaign - and could really make a difference to the overall result.

Older news stories can now be found in the

News Archive. Click here.

Battle lines drawn as appeal deadline passes

The deadline for submissions to the Planning Inspectorate expired on 14 June. The Save the Cabinet Action Group has been granted “Rule 6 status”, which means it has the same status as the other parties and can call expert evidence. The Group has submitted its statement of case, and we know NHDC has done so too. We expect these to become public documents in the coming days, so watch this space for further news. We also know that many supporters have written to the Planning Inspectorate and we would like to thank everyone for doing so.
We now need to turn our focus back to funding the appeal. News of more events will be available soon. Meanwhile, remember you can support us here!
Appeal statements now online The Council’s statement of case for the appeal, which confirms that it (like the Action Group) is resisting the appeal, now appears on NHDC’s planning website.  You can read it here.  The statement of case on behalf of the Action Group can be found here.
That Inquiry will be held at Letchworth on 6-8 November, and the Action Group is asking as many people as possible to attend and support them. Less good news is that these sorts of procedures are formal and expensive, and the campaign to save the pub needs urgently to raise money to pay for a lawyer and expert witnesses. Edwin Kilby, vice-chair of the Action Group, said, “The developer who owns the pub will undoubtedly be represented by an expensive lawyer. We need a lawyer too, otherwise it would be like marching naked into the lion’s den.” Various activities have proved successful at raising funds but at the time of writing there was still a shortfall. So we are asking all supporters please to give what the can to the Fighting Fund. The easiest way to do so is online via JustGiving.

New funding appeal as decisive autumn

approaches

The campaign to save the 400-year-old Cabinet at Reed enters a decisive phase this autumn. In July 2017, retrospective planning permission for change of use was refused by North Herts councillors. Unsurprisingly, the developer appealed. Earlier this year, the Action Group launched a petition designed to make sure the appeal was held in public and not in writing, which attracted about 1500 signatures. This – plus the intervention of the local MP – persuaded the Planning Inspectorate to upgrade the appeal to a Public Inquiry. That’s good news in that it means all the evidence will be brought out in detail – and the Action Group think they have a strong case for saving the pub.

SAVE OUR VILLAGE PUB!

© Save the Cabinet Action group 2018

Campaign launches petition to ensure an open and

transparent appeal

The Save the Cabinet Action group has launched a petition to the Planning Inspectorate to make sure that the developer’s appeal is heard by way of a hearing or an inquiry, and not just on the papers. The Planning Inspectorate is the body, independent of North Herts District Council, which hears appeals on planning decisions. Appeals can be dealt with by way of a written procedure, by way of a hearing (at which all parties can be represented) or an inquiry (a more formal procedure, in the course of which evidence is given on oath and the parties are often represented by lawyers). The Action Group takes the view that the level of local interest in the case of The Cabinet, the disputed evidence submitted to the Planning Committee, and the approach taken by planning authority officers (including a report described by our Chair as “shockingly biased”) makes a hearing or an inquiry essential. The petition argues that this case is an important test of the planning system – not only in relation to how it protects community assets such as pubs, but also as to how it deals with unscrupulous developers who deliberately ignore the requirements of planning law in the hope of maximising their profit. It is essential that the appeal is dealt with transparently and openly, with a proper opportunity for interested parties to make representations and for the Planning Inspector to examine all the evidence in detail. The Action Group is asking all supporters to sign the petition. Click here to read and sign it.
News

Developer’s appeal goes live

The developer who owns The Cabinet lodged his appeal against refusal of planning permission for change of use some months ago. After a lengthy period of “validation” the appeal is now live. We expect anyone who submitted written representations to receive formal notification of the appeal from North Hertfordshire District Council within days, and to have the opportunity to make representations in response to the appeal. The first step will be to persuade the Planning Inspectorate to hold a hearing or an inquiry, rather than to deal with the matter on paper. Appeals usually start as “written procedure”, but can be made into an hearing if there is sufficient public interest or if the evidence in the case is complex - as is the case here. Our petition to the Planning Inspectorate has now been submitted (though you can still sign it in case additional weight is needed later). It’s important that supporters make representations too. Advice as to how to do so is on this page.

Public Inquiry into Cabinet planning decision

The day after the Planning Inspectorate announced it had upgraded the appeal in the case of The Cabinet to a hearing, we learned that they have upgraded it still further. It will now take the form of a Public Inquiry - the most formal and thorough procedure for dealing with planning appeals. Initially we had been informed that the appeal would be dealt with via the “written procedure”. We can now look forward to the evidence in the case being examined in detail during a court-like procedure involving evidence on oath and lawyers on all sides. The decision demonstrates the importance and significance attached to the case. The Action Group welcomes this. It would have been a travesty if a case which had attracted so much interest had been dealt with behind closed doors. The intervention of Sir Oliver Heald MP (who wrote to
the Planning Inspectorate), the Action Group’s recent petition (which attracted over 1400 signatures online and in hard copy), the large volume of written objections and the strength of feeling expressed in the debate in the Council last July will all have contributed to this outcome. No date has yet been fixed for the Inquiry. However we have now learned that the Planning Inspectorate will re-start the timetable for the appeal - so there will be a further opportunity to submit comments and a new set of deadlines. Our current thinking is that the Inquiry itself will take place in the autumn. It’s important to remember that this is a small step on the road to rescuing our lovely old pub. The focus now needs to turn to the substance of the appeal itself, and making sure we achieve the right result.. We also need to raise several thousand pounds urgently in order to meet the costs - including legal costs - of resisting the appeal effectively. If you can spare a few pounds, now would be a good time to help.

New deadlines for comments on the appeal

As previously announced, the Planning Inspectorate has restarted the timetable for the appeal. Comments from interested parties - including supporters and the Save the Cabinet Action Group itself - must now be submitted by 14 June. See the panel opposite for advice as to how to do so. Meanwhile, in an important procedural step, the Action Group has been granted what is known as “Rule 6 status”. This means the Group has the same status as the developer and the Council, including the right to appoint a lawyer. No date has yet been fixed for the Inquiry, but the smart money is on a date in the autumn.

Public Inquiry provisionally set for November

The parties to the appeal - the appellant (i.e. the developer who owns the pub), the District Council and the Save the Cabinet Action group - have all agreed on a dates of 6-8 November for what is expected to be a three-day public inquiry. Provided a Planning Inspector can be allocated to the case for those dates, that is when the appeal will take place. Whilst we might have preferred to move ahead with the case more quickly, we do accept that a major event such as a public inquiry requires considerable preparation on all sides. The Action Group will use the time, with our advisers, to piece together the best possible case in favour of preserving our lovely old pub. We will publish more news when we have it. Meanwhile, we are asking supporters to put the dates in their diaries. We will need a good turnout of supporters when the inquiry takes place.

Dates confirmed for Public Inquiry

The Planning Inspectorate has confirmed that the Public Inquiry will take place over three days from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 November at Letchworth. Three days are considered necessary because of the time needed to hear expert evidence. Inquiries usually include a period for interested parties such as members of the public to speak to set out their concerns normally on the final day - in this case, 8 November. The Action Group is asking supporters to put the dates in diaries now. We recognise that it’s a long way off and that for many the Inquiry will take place during working hours, but we will need as many supporters as we practically can to attend. This can really help influence the Inspector by demonstrating the level of community support for the campaign - and could really make a difference to the overall result. Meanwhile we are asking supporters to write to the Planning Inspectorate by the deadline of 14 June stating that they stand by their objections and, if possible, will attend the Inquiry to assist the Inspector.
Older news stories can now be found in the News Archive.

Battle lines drawn as appeal deadline passes

The deadline for submissions to the Planning Inspectorate expired on 14 June. The Save the Cabinet Action Group has been granted “Rule 6 status”, which means it has the same status as the other parties and can call expert evidence. The Group has submitted its statement of case, and we know NHDC has done so too. We expect these to become public documents in the coming days, so watch this space for further news. We also know that many supporters have written to the Planning Inspectorate and we would like to thank everyone for doing so. We need to turn our focus back to funding the appeal. News of more events will be available soon. Meanwhile, remember you can support us here!
Appeal statements now online The Council’s statement of case for the appeal, which confirms that it (like the Action Group) is resisting the appeal, now appears on NHDC’s planning website.  You can read it here.  The statement of case on behalf of the Action Group can be found here.

New funding appeal as decisive autumn

approaches

The campaign to save the 400-year-old Cabinet at Reed enters a decisive phase this autumn. In July 2017, retrospective planning permission for change of use was refused by North Herts councillors. Unsurprisingly, the developer appealed. Earlier this year, the Action Group launched a petition designed to make sure the appeal was held in public and not in writing, which attracted about 1500 signatures. This – plus the intervention of the local MP – persuaded the Planning Inspectorate to upgrade the appeal to a Public Inquiry. That’s good news in that it means all the evidence will be brought out in detail – and the Action Group think they have a strong case for saving the pub. That Inquiry will be held at Letchworth on 6-8 November, and the Action Group is asking as many people as possible to attend and support them. Less good news is that these sorts of procedures are formal and expensive, and the campaign to save the pub needs urgently to raise money to pay for a lawyer and expert witnesses. Edwin Kilby, vice-chair of the Action Group, said, “The developer who owns the pub will undoubtedly be represented by an expensive lawyer. We need a lawyer too, otherwise it would be like marching naked into the lion’s den.” Various activities have proved successful at raising funds but at the time of writing there was still a shortfall. So we are asking all supporters please to give what the can to the Fighting Fund. The easiest way to do so is online via JustGiving.