Decision next month on future of 18th century Harrogate pub threatened with demolition
A decision on whether a Harrogate district pub under threat from demolition will regain its protected status will be made by next month
The Henry Jenkins Inn at Kirkby Malzeard has been at the centre of a long-fought battle between villagers and a developer since it closed in 2011 and was later removed as an asset of community value by Harrogate Borough Council.
In a latest attempt to secure its future, campaigners from the Henry Jenkins Community Pub group delivered a petition to a council meeting last Wednesday when they urged the authority to "do the right thing" and reinstate the 18th century pub's protected status.
The council did respond at the meeting, but it has now issued a statement saying it will make a decision "no later than 10 November".
A council spokesperson said: "The council received an assets of community value nomination for the ‘eastern part’ of the Henry Jenkins public house on 16 September from Henry Jenkins Community Pub.
“It is currently being assessed against the criteria in the Localism Act and a decision will be made no later than 10 November as required by the legislation.”
The status of an asset of community value means buildings must be used by the community and are protected from a change of use or demolition.
If approved, the campaign group hopes to buy and take over the running of the pub for which it says it has the backing of £237,000 in share pledges.
The Henry Jenkins is named after the Yorkshire super-centenarian that legend states lived to be 169-years-old.
It is one of the oldest inns in the Harrogate district and is the last of several pubs in the area named after Mr Jenkins who is reputed to have lived from 1500 to 1670.
Despite its rich history, members of the Henry Jenkins Community Pub group say it has now fallen into a state of disrepair and is in need of a change of ownership in order to bring it back to its former glory.
Speaking at last week's meeting, group member Richard Sadler said the pub was an "intrinsic part of the history, culture and identity" of Kirkby Malzeard, but had recently become a "blight" on the village.
He said: "We have now put together a business plan and have community share pledges for £237,000 to buy the pub.
"But there is a problem. The council has delisted part of it simply because that part was sold off.
"That is why we are asking the council to do the right thing and put the whole pub back as an asset of community value so we have a chance of bringing it back as a thriving pub for future generations.
"This could be a huge boost to our village and the whole region."
By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter