Just a few days to go before demolotion decision is made on historic Ewloe pub
The application to demolish the Boars Head on Holywell Road Ewloe, a local landmark which dates back to 1703, will be put before Flintshire County Council planners next week and like many before it there will be little objection.
Its believed the new owners of the site want to demolish the pub to make way for affordable housing something that will ‘tick the box’ with Flintshire County Council.
However, there is still time to object to the proposal, just! You can simply write to the planning department and raise an objection [link to application]
Does it deserve a chance to flourish as a pub again? or is it best to let go of this little piece of our heritage, in return for some much needed affordable housing, while of course filling the well lined pocket of a developer with a sizeable chunk of cash.
We asked the pub protection group from Camra – the Campaign For Real Ale, for their view on pubs being sold of and bulldozed this is what they said:
The tide of pub closures is fast becoming a tsunami.
Between 15 and 25 pubs are closing every week across the United Kingdom, and for some time it has not just been the scruffy urban variety that have gone.
Many urban and rural gems have fallen, and many villages and communities have found themselves without a hostelry, which in a great many cases was also a focal point for social activities, indeed provided the glue for social cohesion.
The highest proportion of closures has been that of pubs belonging to a Pub Company (pubco), as these groups struggle with huge debts against which their only answer is normally to raise rents and beer prices, forcing pubs towards closure as tenants cannot survive on vanishing margins.
The seemingly never ending queue of brave folk wanting to take on a pub tenancy is now drying up.
When faced with a hopelessly failing pub, with no willing takers of the tenancy, and particularly if the site is attractive for development, the pubcos are increasingly moved to sell building and site.
The windfall keeps them going a bit longer as the pub is turned into housing, etc., and of course the developer makes a handy profit on selling what he has built.
Everybody gains except the licencee who has lost his home and livelihood, and the customers who have lost their pub, perhaps the social glue which holds the community together.
Of course, some free houses and many brewery-tied houses have also been lost over the last few years as regional brewers look to trim their estates, perhaps to refocus on different styles of pubs with more accent on dining.
Despite their popularity, pubs are currently under threat as never before.
A combination of factors has led to more and more pub owners shutting down pubs and seeking to convert the buildings to other uses.
However, there are many examples of communities successfully fighting to save their local pub.
Many (but sadly not all) changes of use need planning permission and the planning system often represents the best chance to save a pub from oblivion. If the local planning authorities are on your side, this campaigning becomes much easier.
What can locals do when their pub is threatened with closure, possible demolition or redevelopment?
They can certainly object to any planning applications for redevelopment.
They should aim to recruit the local MP as a supporter in the campaign to resist closure.
They might even consider purchasing the pub themselves.
If situated in England, they could form a small group and apply to register the pub as an Asset of Community Value.
This registration will delay redevelopment for at least six months whilst buying time for a business plan for purchase to be put together.
In Wales, the ACV legislation has not yet been adopted though the Wales Assembly Government is making positive noises about following suit.
Well-run pubs play an invaluable role at the heart of their local communities, providing a safe, regulated and sociable environment in which people can enjoy a drink responsibly and interact with people from different backgrounds.
CAMRA’s own research shows that 84% of people believe that a pub is as essential to community life as a shop or post office.
A lot of useful relevant information on how to save a pub can be found by visiting
http://www.camra.org.uk/pubs and following the links.
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