Update: October 2013
Chamley Arms now appears to be shut on a permanent basis.
What a shame.....
News on the progress with buying our village pub. Plus your views on how it can proceed, ideas for events, etc
UPDATE: November 2011
Following a short but successful season where the villagers were welcomed into the pub, we appear to be back into "conversion" mode.
Once again, the village requests a meeting with the OWNER, John Frankland, not his lackey, Phil Pepper, at a public meeting.
The evidence of conversion is now overwhelming - ladders to the first floor and no stairs, walls dividing the upstairs into the self-contained units the Planning Inspector refused permission for, and unprotected groundworks and blocks lined up around the rear of the premises that imply far more than refurbishment.
Meanwhile, if you thought the bar had shrunk and gotten cold, get ready for the next phase. No heating, no hot water, no kitchen, no food. Certainly no village events, no supper club, no B&B, no community pub. Just a canny (but locally built) wooden structure to prop up a few bags of beer to pretend you are welcome.
It's actually called a 'taproom' and Mr Frankland should, perhaps, spot a business opportunity where there is one. Turning the Chamley Arms into a taproom is not it.
The Planning Inspector made it clear that self-contained units of any description were not permissible. That was in December 2010, less than a year ago. FOWP has no intention of allowing Frankland from Kent/Norfolk or his henchmen to scare this village out of their own pub purely so he can profit from residential property sales.
Once again, we are inviting Mr John Frankland, whose name is on the deeds of the pub and OWNS it, to attend a public meeting. Organ grinder, not monkey.
UPDATE: July 2nd 2011
Rumours abound in the village. And hearsay from Kirkby Stephen offers this: conversion to one 4 bedroom house and 2 holiday lets - all to be sold for private benefit, leaving only a newly redefined "pub" - a one room bar/tap room with minimal live-in accommodation above, plus a new build dining room and kitchen to replace the 'stolen' lounge and kitchen. All B&B and family accommodation, lounge facilities, cellar and garage would be lost to the residential proposals. Sound familiar, Warcop?
FOWP cannot possibly agree to the above as the best solution for the village and are therefore challenging what is being done. All we are doing is reiterating what the Planning Inspector said in December 2010 - no residential conversion of this public house is permitted.
There are no plans from the current owner for B&B, lounge, or a community pub, shop, or ANY of the needs this pub business and village requires and has requested from the existing building. Everything that you or I may think of as "The Chamley Arms" is under threat by "speculative developers" looking to asset strip this community building - the last remaining pub - and hub of the village. Or so it seems.
We are in a Big Society vanguard area. Speculative asset stripping in this way will fall foul of every agency, because we have the support of central government to prevent it happening any longer. And particularly when the proof exists to show that Warcop may be falling foul of 'serial' asset strippers.
The sounds of ongoing works upstairs in the pub and all the work to dig out the back prior to even attempting to obtain planning or listed building consent have meant that Friends of Warcop Pub can no longer just sit back and watch this village lose its pub to the very same conversions that were prohibited by the Planning Inspector in December last year. A mere six months ago. The Planning Inspector was clear and precise in his decisions - this pub is NOT to be converted to residential at this time.
The pub, for those who may have forgotten, is the entire building. Not one room. With or without proposed new build of restaurant and kitchen, the Chamley Arms is a huge building that reaches from the garage to the very end of the beer garden by the Camp access road, and includes at least 5 letting bedrooms, a cellar, a garage, a self-contained flat suitable for a family (according to the last two families who maintained the pub in good repair and for the village, going back 30 years+), a lounge bar, a fully fitted commercial ktichen, a bar with pool room, two sets of ladies' and gents' toilets, a terrace that reaches across the entire frontage, and buildings and land that extend considerably behind the building.
ALL OF THAT IS THE PUB. Not one room, or two, but ALL OF IT.
ALL OF THAT IS THE PUB. Not one room, or two, but ALL OF IT.
Action is being taken. We have sought high level support recently, and the Chamley Arms is NOT being converted into residential premises without a fight. Thanks to everyone for the continuing support - FOWP will not just give up and let this village pub be converted and sold off as houses to benefit private pockets.
We understand that the tenant of the one room bar, which is NOT the Chamley Arms aka the pub, but a "temporary taproom", is now Darren Pedeley. The owner is still John Frankland who submitted the previous applications for planning WHICH WERE TURNED DOWN COMPREHENSIVELY BY THE PLANNING INSPECTOR in December 2010. The ongoing works to the building appear to be being carried out by Mr Phil Pepper, whose relationship with the owner, the building, and the business is yet to be clearly and legally defined. NO planning applications have been submitted to date.
FOWP have seen NO evidence that any change of ownership has occurred and will therefore continue to oppose ALL attempts to convert the pub with the mandate of the Parish and villagers given at the public meeting. Conversion of the pub by stealth is not going to be permitted.
A formal offer by the community to purchase the pub at a reasonable market rate for the building and business in the current condition is again being reviewed with expert legal and financial advice.
UPDATE: April 26th 2011:
The Premises Application is, as required, now displayed publicly for everyone to see.
Tony Randall has been to interview the new landlord, Darren Pedely, and the video is below.
However, we should point out that the pub does NOT have a new owner and is still owned by John Frankland and not Phil Pepper.
UPDATE: APRIL 20th 2011:
An application has been submitted to Eden District Council for a new Premises Licence by Phil Pepper and Mandy Simpson. The premises application should be displayed publicly, and at 50m intervals around any building/premises over 50 square meters - it is currently missing. If anyone has seen the missing application(s) and can inform the rest of the village as to its content, please let us all know in the comments box below.
In the interim, EDC have been asked by FOWP for further information as to the detail of that application. You can see the bare bones of the application on the EDC website here.
(Sorry, there is no direct link as the information is protected from search engines etc, so you will need to scroll right down to the bottom of the page, click on Online Register under the Licensing Register heading, and then click on Premises Licence. Enter the Chamley Arms as the Premises name, and then click on New Application 008380. Might be worth reading the previous applications too....)
The full information is not available here yet, but it would appear that a delicensing of certain areas of the premises is afoot. Which is why the lounge bar, where you had hoped to take your kids, have family meals away from squaddies etc, looks like it may be a 'no go zone'. The proposed plans were shown at the Parish Council meeting in March - there are photos available. (Or we can do a whole post on the proposed changes if you wish!)
A couple of Premises Licence points to note:
The Designated Premises Supervisor must hold certain qualifications and must be on the premises AT ALL TIMES the premises is open for business. In the most recent application, no Premises Supervisor is named. Nor dates given for the start of the license. It might be a valid question to ask yourself: why?
The current premises holder (License 01612) must be on site at all times, and qualified, if the pub is to be open and trading.
The plans shown at the Parish Council meeting in March are endeavouring to turn over 2/3 of the pub into residential which, unless protected by Planning Law, could be sold independently of the pub and leave Warcop with a "1 up 1 down" village pub. (Look at the proposed plans....)
We are awaiting advice, but the reality seems to be this:
IF a 5-6 bedroom, 40+ cover, 2 bar pub, serving food and real ale, with the potential for housing a village shop, post office, beer garden, and multiple other services isn't viable, then ask yourself how 1/3 of that area (aka a 'tap room') can prove viable?
Ormside tried that argument. A whole pub can't make it happen, so we'll just have half a pub. ......???
When was the last time you had a pint in Ormside pub?!
Phil Pepper lambasted this website (it's a blog) in the March Warcop Parish Council meeting. We would like to point out to tenants and owners of the pub alike, the comment box is open. If you want to communicate with the village, please do so..........
UPDATE, April 2011: The pub is due to open again in 2011 with plans which are still to be submitted to Eden District Council. However, plans which bore a striking resemblance to the recently refused plans (02/12/10), were made available at the Warcop Parish Council Meeting in March 2011.
The previous set of plans, refused on 2nd December 2010 can be found here
and the Refusal Decision on Appeal is as follows:
Site visit made on 7 October 2010
by Richard McCoy BSc, MSc, DipTP, MRTPI, IHBC
an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Decision date: 2 December 2010
Appeal A Ref: APP/H0928/E/10/2131392
Chamley Arms, Warcop, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6NX
• The appeal is made under section 20 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 against a failure to give notice within the prescribed period of a decision on an application for listed building consent.
• The appeal is made by Mr Mark Frankland against Eden District Council.
• The application Ref 09-0725 is dated 24 August 2009.
• The works proposed are the alteration of the un-used areas of the building to create 2 No. self-contained holiday lets to be run in conjunction with the public house.
Appeal B Ref: APP/H0928/A/10/2131065
Chamley Arms, Warcop, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6NX
• The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a failure to give notice within the prescribed period of a decision on an application for planning permission.
• The appeal is made by Mr Mark Frankland against Eden District Council.
• The application Ref 09-0570, is dated 20 July 2009.
• The development proposed is the change of use of the un-used rooms to help make the public house a more viable business by creating 2 No. self-contained holiday lets.
1. I note the officer report and recommendation submitted by the Council and have taken these to be an indication of what the Council would have done had they determined the applications.
2. Included with the appeal is amended plan 1005/02 Rev B. However, I note the Council states that following protracted discussion and negotiation, the appellant intimated by email, dated 14 June 2010, that he wanted the scheme determined in accordance with the originally submitted plans. Therefore, in the
absence of any evidence to the contrary from the appellant, I have determined these appeals on the basis of the Location Plan No.1 and drawing Nos. 1005/01, 1005/02 Rev A and 1005/03 Rev A.
3. I dismiss the appeal and refuse to grant listed building consent for the alteration of the un-used areas of the building to create 2 No. self-contained holiday lets to be run in conjunction with the public house.
4. I dismiss the appeal and refuse to grant planning permission for the change of use of the un-used rooms to help make the public house a more viable business by creating 2 No. self-contained holiday lets.
5. I consider the main issues in this case to be the effect of the works/development on the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building, and whether the facilities offered by the Chamley Arms should
be retained to serve the needs of the local community.
6. Chamley Arms is a Grade II listed building, located in the centre of the village. It is used as a public house, incorporating rooms that are used on a bed and breakfast basis. Proposed is the creation of 2 No. self-contained holiday flats with independent access. In the main these would replace the bed and breakfast rooms but would also lead to the loss of a significant part of the operational floor area of the public house.
Effect on the listed building
7. The proposal would entail carrying out alterations to the listed building. While floor plans have been submitted which show the position of the proposed alterations, along with a brief explanation in the Design and Access Statement, I consider more information would be required in the form of elevational and
detailed drawings to show the extent of these works and enable a full assessment to be made of their impact on the listed building.
8. In the absence of such information, I consider it is not possible to assess if the works would preserve the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building, in conflict with Policy HE6 of Planning Policy Statement 5; Planning for the Historic Environment.
Whether the public house facilities should be retained
9. While the proposal would not result in the total loss of the public house, it would result in a significant reduction of its trading and operational floor area. In addition, the bed and breakfast rooms which are physically connected to the public house would be replaced by self contained holiday lets.
10. Planning Policy Statement 7 (PPS7), Sustainable Development in Rural Areas, advises that local planning authorities should support the retention of local facilities, such as public houses, and should set out the criteria they will apply in considering planning applications that will result in the loss of important village services.
11. This is reflected in Policy CS22 of the adopted Eden Core Strategy Development Plan Document (CS), which seeks to resist the loss of village services and facilities, such as pubs, where such a loss would cause an unacceptable reduction in the level of services in the locality. In considering proposals that could result in such loss, the Council will have regard to the established use of the premises and its existing and potential contribution to the social amenity of the local population, the future economic viability of the use, including, in appropriate cases, financial information and the results of any efforts to market the premises, for a minimum of 12 months at a realistic price.
12. I note the opposition to the proposal outlined in the representations from the Parish Council and several individual objectors. These claim that the Chamley Arms has a tremendous potential as a village facility and amenity which must be retained and enhanced for the future, particularly as it is situated in a tourist area, close to an army base, in a village that has seen recent housing development.
13. I consider that the Chamley Arms is an important facility in Warcop, particularly as few other community facilities appear to exist within the village. The loss of floor area of the public house, which this proposed change of use would bring about, would diminish its ability to function as a local community facility and would leave the village with a much smaller public venue for social gatherings. As such it would amount to an unacceptable reduction in the level of this local service.
14. Although the appellant argues that the conversion of the under-used rooms would make the remainder of the public house a more viable business, the applications do not appear to have been accompanied by any form of business plan or detailed financial information in support of the proposed change of use.
I consider therefore, that insufficient evidence has been submitted to substantiate the appellant’s claim as it has not been adequately demonstrated that the business is no longer viable.
15. Furthermore, I have no evidence before me to show that the premises have been marketed as a going concern for a period of at least 12 months without success. In the absence of financial accounts and a marketing exercise, I am satisfied that it has not been demonstrated that the existing public house
business is not viable. Accordingly, the proposal would be contrary to CS Policy CS22 and the advice in PPS7.
16. The Council was also concerned that the proposed parking space in front of the building would encroach onto the highway, though I note it also considers that this could be overcome by amending the proposed plan. From my assessment I can find no reason to disagree and consider that this would, of itself, not be a
reason for withholding planning permission. Nevertheless, this would not overcome the other harm the proposal would cause as set out above.
17. I have taken full and careful account of the views of local residents and the interested parties in reaching this decision, including the letters in support of the proposal, and for the reasons given above I conclude that the appeals should be dismissed.
The Village continues to support the Planning Inspector's decision to refuse conversion of any of this property into residential accommodation, particularly for resale separate to the Public House Business, and no objections have been put before Friends of Warcop Pub for the following statements:
The Chamley Arms, Warcop is currently closed and has been since just before Christmas 2010. However, the village are determined that this situation will not last any longer than is necessary. Having lost our garage, shop and Post Office in the last few years, the pub is vital:
a) for the morale and well-being of the village
b) as the community hub and
c) if we want to retain our status for future planning applications and new build by having access to sufficient services.
Over the last decade, the pub has been run into the ground, both as a business and as a listed building. It is difficult to ignore the state of the structure and the work which is required to bring it back up to scratch, but it is not an impossible task and the work does not all need doing in 'one hit'. As a business, however, it needs simply a 'driver' with vision and energy to put it back on its feet so it once again becomes the pub many remember from only a decade ago - offering food, B&B and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
The ideal for many would be that it is community-owned, as are an increasing number of pubs in this area of the world and so that is what we are seeking to achieve.
In 2009, planning was applied for change of use to convert over 2/3rds of the pub into holiday accommodation. The village objected strenuously to these applications, arguing that there is no evidence that the pub business is not viable, particularly as the letting bedrooms and kitchen were unused by the tenant, and that aspect of the business could easily be reinstated to generate revenue. Friends of Warcop Pub (FOWP) was set up to represent the village.
Eden District Council requested viability information and detailed plans from the applicant, who then took the applications to the Planning Inspectorate for non-determination. The appeal was dismissed and the tenant gave up the business, closing the doors just days before Christmas.
Since then, FOWP have worked non-stop to establish what options are available to the village. Each day brings more good news. The owner has been in touch, grants and loans have been identified, advice from other co-operative and community pubs has been forthcoming, and there is a growing groundswell of enthusiasm, both in the village and beyond, for seeking to buy the pub so that it belongs to Warcop village.
It is, however, still early days in the process, but we are looking for any and all potential shareholders to get in touch; for those who may have useful skills; and for advice and information that will ensure that Warcop makes the best decisions in the coming weeks and months.
As many will know from other community projects, the local buy-in which could be afforded to the pub by this community could ensure its future success. The ideas for re-locating the shop (and possibly the Post Office) plus the many other ideas which keep being proposed for the pub are already beginning to demonstrate this buy-in at work. For many people, even those who do not drink, the pub is an essential part of village life, in particular the social aspect, but it is also the place people hear of jobs going, catch up on the gossip, help each other out, and make village life 'buzz'.