Dragons Head Objection

The documents related to the Dragons Head Application were  updated on the 12 of this month. One of the new documents is an objection by a Mrs. Kate Manders to the planning application. I am so astounded by the content and inaccuracies that the objection contains that I post it in full below.

I would love to hear how many people agree with Kate that “the majority of villagers (excluding one or two Parish Councillors) have no faith in the application”.  In fact the Parish Council wrote to the Planning Department saying “Parish Councillors are unanimously IN SUPPORT of this application.”

Somebody is telling pork pies. However, here are Kate’s comments:

I object in the strongest possible terms to the application for planning for the Dragon’s Head, on several counts. Whittington has a major problem with parking, and the proposal to remove the existing car park from the rear of the pub and convert it into access for housing will cause yet more problems with unsafe parking in the village. It will endanger lives, cause congestion and the access from the proposed three houses onto Main Street on a difficult and potentially blind corner will be dangerous.

In addition, I do not believe that any business plan submitted by the applicant is genuine. Whittington needs a pub. Not a tea room with a pub that may or may not open 2 or 3 evenings a week. This is not be a viable business plan but a cynical attempt to get planning permission for housing. It is my guess that, when the business fails in 2-3 years
time, the applicant will then say that it was never a viable option and seek permission to convert the pub building into residential accommodation.

The applicant has held the village to ransom since he bought the premises with a threat that he can only open a pub if he can build houses. This is nonsense. Why did he not refurbish the pub when he first bought it, and promised us it would be open by Christmas 2015? In my opinion, any reason he gives for needing to build houses in order to reopen the pub is not based on commercial reality, but greed. If he needs money to build the houses at the back, then surely opening the business as soon as possible after purchase would have been a priority.

Thirdly, the building of any housing at the back of the pub will destroy what could be a valuable asset to the pub, namely the beer garden. No customers will want to sit in a beer garden at the front of the building and breathe in traffic fumes and look at the village hall, when
they could have been sitting at the back looking at the view. It makes no sense. In addition, any seating at the front will further limit vehicle access to the back, making the entrance yet more unsafe.

I have absolutely no faith in the application, and despite the opinions or one or two members of the Parish Council, a quick vox poll of villages would tell you that neither do the majority of the residents of the village.

There are plenty of ideas locally about how the pub could be reopened and be a real asset to the community. It
does not require holding the village to ransom with demands for houses that are unnecessary – housing already for sale in the village is not selling, and the building of 18 further properties on Whittington Farm will reduce demand even further. Without the necessary
infrastructure of village amenities, the village is not as attractive to potential buyers as others in the area.

I trust you will include these comments in your decision process.

Mrs. Kate Manders.

2 thoughts on “Dragons Head Objection”

  1. I can only assume that Kate hasn’t seen the site plans. Firstly having removed the outbuildings the car park has increased to a capacity of 13 vehicles, which is practically double what it used to be. The lower car park was rarely used by pub visitors, and for many years stored caravans. It isn’t the job of the pub to provide off street parking for residents of the village, only users of the pub. Access and clarity at entrance and exit have been massively improved. I am sure someone will explain the drawings to Kate if she only seeks clarification.

    Kate’s second paragraph is a shocking collection of her opinions, assumptions based on no evidence, a lack of understanding of architectural drawings and a poor grasp of business plans. Her business experience is gained from her involvement in eight different ventures over the last eleven years. I’m inclined to trust Simon’s acumen more.

    She says that Simon Nutter has; 1). held the village to ransom, 2). threatened to only open the pub if he gets planning permission for dwellings, 3). made a promise to open by Christmas 2015, 4). that his decisions are based on greed. And then, to cap it all she suggests that she has a knowledge of business economics superior to that of a man who has specialised in that business for so many years. Frankly I believe that Kate’s assertions verge on slanderous.

    Her remarks about the beer garden are evidence of her lack of familiarity with the pub. If the beer garden was ever used it was not by regulars. It was by caravaner’s and the occasional hiker, the tables at the front of the pub was where the majority of people sat, because they are in the sun most of the time. Once again her comments also show an ignorance of the plans. The proposed arrangements at the front are a massive improvement which will vastly enhance visibility as a result of the removal of badly parked vehicles.

    Her reference to support from only one or two Councillors flies in the face of the evidence. Where she gets her Vox Populi participants from I do not know because her evidence is the direct opposite to the comments from contributors to the Blog and everyone I have spoken to. Or has she just made it up?

    If there are “plenty of ideas” about how the pub could be reopened I would dearly love to hear them. I notice that although 100 people signed the Dragons Head petition Kate wasn’t one of them. However, on a more positive note, her mother did.
    Finally. The residents of the village need to realise that Kate has actually passed these comments to the Planning Committee, we can only hope that her minority view does no reflect badly on the Application. Certainly there are those among us who will take it very badly if we lose our pub due to one ill informed objector. It may be too late to email or write to the committee but it is still possible to attend the Planning Meeting on the 31st May and show our support. I will post directions and time on Monday of next week.

  2. Whatever the arguments for and against, is it really acceptable to post such a personal attack on Kate? She has every right to submit an objection to a planning application without the fear of being publicly ‘named and shamed’ in this manner.

    Allow me to quote your own ‘House Rules’:

    “At all times please respect the views and opinions of other Network members…

    This Network is not to be used for the “Naming and Shaming” of individuals, any comments or posts relating to this will be removed.”

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