A village campaign group, supported by the community of Spinkhill, has won an important and historic round in its fight to save a much-loved pub.
North East Derbyshire District Council planning committee unanimously rejected proposals to redevelop the pub into new homes, despite officers’ recommendations that the scheme was acceptable (on Tuesday January 21st). The plan would have allowed a property developer to have converted The Angel into two houses, retain a small portion of the pub for a small public bar and build two detached houses in the garden.
Much to the community’s delight, the council’s planning committee unanimously refused the application due to the site being listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) – the first ever in North East Derbyshire. This is the first time ever in the country an ACV listing has been cited as the primary reason for a council to refuse planning permission.
Villagers pointed out that the proposals would not be feasible, the new bar area would not cater for families, outdoor space would be lost and more emphasis should be placed on the community value the building provides. The Angel has been at the heart of the village for many years and has furthered, social well-being and provided a meeting place. The villagers reminded councillors that, once a site is converted to housing, it is lost forever.
The result was a decisive victory for the campaigners and the community who have been fighting passionately in the hope the pub, which is still owned by Punch Taverns, can be returned to its former glory. Excited and relieved Spinkhill resident Andrew Truby said: “What an incredible journey we have been on so far in our village campaign. The sense of community spirit has been revived as the village has come together to protect this community asset.” The community is now really hoping that an interested buyer steps in and re-opens this gem of a pub. Andrew added: “This has always been about saving the Angel rather than buying it and we are still hoping that someone will come along and buy the place, fill it with their love and open the doors once more.”
The Angel Spinkhill Community Interest Company has been granted a six month period to put together a bid to secure the Angel Hotel’s site. The Community Interest Company is clear that, “…our group is happy to support any would-be buyers, who are sympathetic to the needs of the village, to make their dream of owning the Angel a reality. We are also prepared to work towards a community bid if this is what it will take to secure the site for our community.”
Emily Ryans, CAMRA’s campaigns manager said: “Pubs are an essential part of Britain’s cultural heritage and it is clear from the support of the surrounding community how important it is that the Angel remains a pub in the future.”
Dave Pickersgill, pub preservation officer, Sheffield CAMRA, said: “In the right hands, possibly private local investors, we believe that this location could support a viable public house, one which provides car parking, community facilities and a range of locally sourced food and drink.”
Any interested parties should contact the group by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.