You may remember that last year the Co-op Group put in a planning application to demolish the Cherry Tree and build a new store in its place as Enterprise Inns who own the pub had agreed to sell it to them. We have opposed that application, and made a bid to have the pub declared an Asset of Community Value to try to preserve it. That has now been successful – the Council granted the pub Community Asset status in May. That means that if Enterprise Inns want to proceed with a sale they must give six months’ delay to allow an alternative bid to be put together – although that doesn’t guarantee its success.
The Co-op Group complained to the Council that their planning application was not being decided by the Planning Committee and appealed to the national Planning Inspectorate to force Sheffield to hear the application. The Council quite reasonably replied that they were waiting for the result of the Asset of Community Value bid, and that in any case there were design issues for the proposed store that were still not resolved. Once the Community Value decision was made they then scheduled a Planning Committee for the 20th June. The Planning Officer however will recommend that the Committee refuse the Application, because of the pub’s Community Asset status, but also because of the design issues – the Co-op having refused to modify the designs as the Planning Dept thought was necessary.
However Co-op Group have refused to withdraw their appeal, which means that the final decision will now be made by the Inspector and the Planning Committee can only make a recommendation. It seems that Co-op Group [perhaps encouraged by Enterprise Inns] are using the appeal process to try to undermine the Community Asset decision and persuade the Inspector to ignore it and approve the application. This Appeal will be decided by mid-July, but on the basis of written documents. The Group will be submitting additional evidence both to the Planning Committee and to the Inspector.
Those of you who made objections or comments on the planning application will probably have received a letter notifying you of the Appeal. Please note that you have until 4 July to make any new or additional individual objections or comments. If you do make any such objections or comments to the Planning Committee they will automatically be passed to the Inspector.
In view of the Co-op Group’s apparent wish to undermine the Community Asset decision it would be helpful if you could stress your support for the Cherry Tree as well as any opposition to the Co-op store proposal. If the pub is saved then we as a Group will support any efforts to bring about a new management regime for the pub, to make it a more community-friendly place with a positive future. The current managers have done a lot to improve service and popularity but are restricted by the owners Enterprise Inns in what they can do. There are at least a couple of other parties interested in buying the pub and running it more effectively.
The Group will circulate a new Petition in support of the Cherry Tree which can be signed in either of the shops adjacent to the pub, or in the Away You Go cafe. There is also a standard letter attached to this email which you could use to write to the Inspector, adding to or modifying it if you wish. You could refer to my previous emails about this for some of the grounds on which we have opposed the application.
You can email these letters to West2@pins.gsi.gov.uk quoting the Appeal Reference APP/J4423/W/17/3171556 OR you can post them to
Sarah Hardy, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3M, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, BRISTOL BS1 6PN
PLEASE DON’T FORGET THE APPEAL REFERENCE OR THE 4 JULY DEADLINE.
Any queries or comments I will be happy to respond to them.
Secretary Carter Knowle & Millhouses Community Group