An historic North Yorkshire pub at the centre of a long-running campaign has been granted a measure of protected status as villagers prepare a bid for community buyout.
Campaigners have battled for months to save The Henry Jenkins pub in Kirkby Malzeard, citing its long history and the “vital” role it could play in the village community.
Now, after an initial application was refused nearly four months ago, planning authorities in Harrogate have agreed for it to be listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).
“We’re absolutely delighted that Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) has finally recognised the vital importance of this pub to the community and its potential,” said Richard Sadler, of the Save the Henry Jenkins Committee.
“We believe the case for saving the Henry Jenkins is overwhelming. It’s a much-loved pub which has been at the very heart of Kirkby Malzeard’s community for over 200 years.”
The Henry Jenkins, named after an unlikely super-centenarian who claimed to have lived for nearly 170 years, is one of two pubs in the small village near Ripon. Closed for years and with owners unable to find a “realistic and credible” buyer, it was put forward for demolition in February with the site to be used for housing.
Campaigners, arguing against the plans, said it was of historical importance to the village and set up a series of protests to demonstrate its worth. But despite the pub being granted a reprieve by council planners who refused the application, an initial bid to have it listed as an ACV was still rejected in March. Now after a second bid, backed by the area’s MP, Camra, community groups and local borough councillors, it has secured the status. It means residents will have time to prepare a bid should it be put up for sale.
“It’s been a long battle,” said Mr Sadler. “We’ll now be pushing ahead with plans to look at a possible community buyout.
“We’re aiming to get as many people involved in the village and surrounding area as we can to look at purchasing the pub on behalf of the community. We’re hoping that further down the line we can achieve a successful outcome that will satisfy all parties.”