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Planning » Application Comments

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24229/010 | CONVERSION OF PUBLIC HOUSE TO DWELLING AND ERECTION OF FIVE DWELLINGS WITH ASSOCIATED CAR PARKING, BIN STORAGE AND LANDSCAPING AFTER DEMOLITION OF SINGLE STOREY EXTENSIONS TO PUBLIC HOUSE (As amended by plans submitted on October 14th 2013) | Barley Mow, 72 Normandy Street, Alton, GU34 1DH

The public consultation period for this application has ended. We are no longer accepting comments from the public on this application.

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Comment submitted Wed 23 Oct 2013

I am an ex- Landlady of The White Hart South Harting which was owned by the same Pubco Landlords as the Barley Mow and I am a campaigner and supporter of fair deal for your local and member of LSL licensees supporting licensees. The White Hart has recently been purchased by Upham Brewery and a few local investors which is great news! The White Hart had been running badly for many years since owned by the Pub company it has had approximately 13 tenants in nearly 12 years. We took over April 2012 and increased profits from 2k to 8k per week in just a couple of Months trading. We left May 2013 as the Pub company were demanding too much rent which they calculated due to our performance and what we had achieved there. It was then run by a holding company and went down hill again. We would not have survived on the deal they were offering. We also own a freehouse Bistro Bar in Petersfield and have been trading there since March 2001. We paid nearly ?80 per barrel more in the tied pub than we paid in our freehouse for the same beer. This they call the wet rent. The Pub companies also charge extremely unfair high rents with yearly rent rises in line with inflation. The average Pubco tenant (usually a couple) earn 15k pa working 24/7 and are expected to pay for dilapidations. How are they supposed to achieve this when the Pubco's take so much money from them. If the tenants fail then they are churned out with their deposits and fixtures and fittings kept by the company landlords or they are left with a hefty dilapidations bill and are then hounded until they pay it. Another unsuspecting tenant comes along and the same process happens. This is known as 'the churn'. They deliberately allow certain Pubs that they want to 'get shot of' to become run down all the while ruining peoples lives. They had invested just ?135 since 2007 in The White Hart Pub. It is all over the national papers, the media, in parliament so many campaigns going on to free the tied tenant and save the closures of our Pubs. Our case was raised in parliament by George Hollingberry MP Meon Valley and addressed to Vince Cable. It is easy to sell to developers as they will pay more than it's worth. It is easy to sell to Tescos and the like as they will pay more than it's worth and do not require change of use. The Drum in Petersfield has remained a Pub and part of the site will become housing. Look at the incredible change at The Drum? It has improved so much since becoming free of tie from an ugly duckling to a swan! It was formerly owned by another big Pub company! Would the developers consider housing development to part of the site and fix up the Pub to give back to the community as per The Drum? If the Pub is purchased to run as a freehouse it WILL be successful. There must be investors out there. Perhaps the locals can form a consortium to purchase it. Why don't the council consider purchasing this historic Pub and lease it out? Keep it as a Pub. FREE THE TIED PUBLICAN! FAIRDEALFORYOURLOCAL.COM

(Objects)

Comment submitted Wed 23 Oct 2013

I think this plan is terrible, wrong, an abomination and I object to all of it. I live within 250 meters of the Barley Mow. I am of the opinion the site is not suitable for this type of change or development. It will overcrowd the plot and spoil an area of the town that is mainly Victorian buildings or older. The Barley Mow itself will look like it has been picked up and dropped into a little housing plot or development. In my 4 years here no-one has actively promoted this pub and truly tried to change its fortunes. Nor is there any sign of investment from the owners/brewery it has been left to fail and dissolve. The proposed site is adjacent to the infant school, that alone is good reason to consider any change here a delicate point. If the Barley Mow cannot be a public house due to the current climate it should be reviewed properly as a business it is in an area of high footfall, close to other businesses and it has parking. If not a public house then it could easily be changed to something else as was done to The Railway Hotel, alas no longer a pub but still a lovely building with a business now trading from it. If we allow the desires of developers to simply wipe away chunks of land around our buildings of historical note what does that do to our town? Every time we let a business site become residential we lose something. This site is more than just a public house, it is entwined in our towns history and should be made a go of on some level.

Comment submitted Wed 23 Oct 2013

I think this plan is terrible, wrong, an abomination and I object to all of it. I live within 250 meters of the Barley Mow. I am of the opinion the site is not suitable for this type of change or development. It will overcrowd the plot and spoil an area of the town that is mainly Victorian buildings or older. The Barley Mow itself will look like it has been picked up and dropped into a little housing plot or development. In my 4 years here no-one has actively promoted this pub and truly tried to change its fortunes. Nor is there any sign of investment from the owners/brewery it has been left to fail and dissolve. The proposed site is adjacent to the infant school, that alone is good reason to consider any change here a delicate point. If the Barley Mow cannot be a public house due to the current climate it should be reviewed properly as a business it is in an area of high footfall, close to other businesses and it has parking. If not a public house then it could easily be changed to something else as was done to The Railway Hotel, alas no longer a pub but still a lovely building with a business now trading from it. If we allow the desires of developers to simply wipe away chunks of land around our buildings of historical note what does that do to our town? Every time we let a business site become residential we lose something. This site is more than just a public house, it is entwined in our towns history and should be made a go of on some level.

(Objects)

Comment submitted Mon 21 Oct 2013

On behalf of the Campaign for Real Ale (East Hampshire Branch,I am writing to object to the proposed development. The Barley Mow is an historic asset to Alton and I urge the planners to 'see through' the deliberate policy of non-investment by pub company Enterprise Inns and dubious claims in the planning application during their consideration of the application. CAMRA welcomes the use of its Public House Viability Test in the application but feel its conclusions cannot be suppported by the comments made. CAMRA disputes some of those claims. The Viability Test is essentially a self-assessment undertaken by parties working on behalf of developers and there is no validation by an independent body or CAMRA. To take some of the key points in the Viability Test Report: 1. The report cites 16 pubs in the ?immediate vicinity? even the French Horn on the outskirts of town! There is really only one pub close by (Railway Arms) which, suggests CAMRA East Hampshire, caters for a different client?le than the Barley. In fact the closest pub with similar client?le would have been the Railway Hotel as this also was (in its heyday) very much a sporty pub - large screen TV's, darts and pool etc; 2. The Barley did not close on 10 Sept, but is still open for business; 3. The Test fails to discuss potential customers en route between the town centre and the railway station; for example early morning coffees/breakfast; 4. Much of the negative responses are a result of the long term policy of nil investment in the pub including kitchen and food provision; 5. The report quotes assessments and popularity ratings from pub review sites including www.beerintheevening.com for the 15 ?close by pubs?. It beggars belief that a planning application would place reliance on information that is, at best, ?opinion?. The information is unreliable, is not monitored for accuracy and is not independently verified. This evidence should be rejected. Indeed, the report is littered with meaningless information such as potential development opportunities for some of the 16 ? not subject to this planning application; 6. Some of the Test questions would need the assistance of the publican but the report suggests the publican was not included. CAMRA East Hampshire is certain (with all due respect to the present incumbent) that the pub has been "sold down the river" by the Pubco; to deliberately make it unattractive as a pub but available for development. You've only got to look at other pubs in town (e.g. Market Hotel and the George) to see what can be done where there is a will to invest and install managers who really want the business to succeed as a pub. Also those two pubs are closer to other pubs than the Barley is to the ?competition?, but each serves their own type of customers. Furthermore the George and Hop Poles couldn't be closer together (their gardens touch), yet they are both busy and cater for different client?le. CAMRA urges EHDC to reject the application and enquire why the owners have deliberately chosen NOT to make a go of the pub. Otherwise The Barley Mow looks like being dealt the same hand that Pubco?s have delivered to the Gentleman Jim, The Railway Hotel, The Windmill (Four Marks) and The Anchor (Ropley). Let's hope that CAMRA can lean on this Government to change the law in respect of Pubco?s and allow their Managers and Tenant's the same rights as the Free of Tie pubs do and frankly the industry would have been better off if the old "tied house" system was still in use. Regards, Dave Tootell Chairman CAMRA East Hampshire

Comment submitted Mon 21 Oct 2013

In support of my comments submitted at 6:34 PM on 19 Oct 2013, I would like the planners to consider the following historical aspects of the Barley Mow. A Short History of the Barley Mow, Normandy Street. In the mid-to-late C17th, this was part of a larger property which covered the site of the neighbouring school and Victorian houses to the east. The plot consisted of two houses, a workshop, an orchard and gardens and the area was called Down?s End with the Collins family, who were carpenters, living here. Later, two of the buildings were pulled down and the remaining one became the ?Barley Mow? towards the end of the C18th. In 1774, the premises were leased to James Baverstock and John Dowden, brewers of Alton, and in 1781 they took out an insurance:- ?On a House brick built & tiled situate at Alton aforesd Tenant Jno Matthew a Victr & known by the Barley Mow ?200?. The Matthews family ran the ale house until 1828, when James Milam took over and changed the name to The Angel. The name reverted to The Barley Mow when John Gates became landlord in the 1830s. The tithe map of 1842 shows the front part of the present building lying along the front of the plot. Behind it, alongside the alley, lies another building - probably for storage. The owner was Edward Knight of Chawton, Lord of the Manor of Alton Eastbrook. The tenant was Messrs Crowley (the brewers who bought the Baverstock brewery in Alton) and the occupier was still John Gates. The Barley Mow and its meadow covered an area of 3r 12p. John Gates? son, also called John, was a carpenter who opened the Railway Arms in his house in Anstey. By 1861, Martha Freeman was living at the Barley Mow and she was followed by William Warren. He advertised that he had ?horses & traps for hire, good beds & stabling? in 1875. At the time of the 1891 census, the publican was Emma Wateridge, a widow aged 60 and she was followed by Frank and Emily Small. Frank was warned by the Alton Urban District Council in 1908 that he was contravening the byelaws by keeping pigs here. By 1924, Tom Fuller had taken over as landlord and the pub?s front wall was tile-hung around this time. The building with a plain white wall and large Crowley & Co. Ltd. sign can be seen in pictures 18 and 19 of ?Bygone Alton? by Tony Cross and Georgia Smith. ? Jane Hurst, 82, The Butts, Alton, Hampshire. GU34 1RD. 01420 86701

(Neutral)

Comment submitted Tue 24 Sep 2013

(Objects)

Comment submitted Wed 23 Oct 2013

The arguments advanced by WYG to support this application are full of inaccuracies. For example, much is made of the alleged presence 240 metres from The Barley Mow of another pub, The Railway Hotel. The Railway Hotel has been closed for some time and has been converted to retail (ground floor) and residential (1st floor) ? hardly competition for The Barley Mow. Of the claimed 16 pubs in Alton, another is for example The Swan Hotel ? not a pub at all but a 3-star hotel (with nearly 40 rooms and conference facilities). The Barley Mow itself is not ?north of the High Street? ? Normandy Street is the continuation of the High Street, the main road through the town. The town centre is south-west, not as stated south-east, of The Barley Mow. The Queen?s Head is in Holybourne, not Alton. The King?s Head and The White Horse are in secondary, not as claimed, primary, retail locations. This is just a small sample of the inadequacy of the arguments put forward for change of use of this traditional pub.

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