We understand from the Chiltern Society that the new owner of the Valiant Trooper in Aldbury has informed Dacorum Council that he has no intention of reopening the pub. Sadly it’s this slow erosion of community assets that will destroy villages like Aldbury, unless we act now.
The pub closed in summer 2021 when the lease for the then tenants expired. It was bought privately shortly afterwards and has remained closed ever since. Two applications for ACV (Asset Community Value) registration have been declined on the grounds that being a ‘successful village local is insufficient reason to qualify as a community asset’. We strongly disagree.
So the priority now is to defeat the current planning application, and the more people who lodge an objection the better. Unfortunately, we do not have much time as the expiry date is stated as 13 July and comments will need to be made before then.
This is the link to the current application, for you to make your comments: https://planning.dacorum.gov.uk/publicaccess/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=RD41O8FOFTT00
Interestingly, this application supersedes a virtually identical one which received over 40 objections – and those comments may be read here: https://planning.dacorum.gov.uk/publicaccess/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=neighbourComments&keyVal=RAWEZXFOMUV00. Anyone who made comment on the previous application will need to do so again on the new application.
Everyone’s key concern is that should the application succeed, and the alterations go ahead, then the pub would no longer be able to function as a pub. For that reason, this application (which is only for consent to make alterations to a listed building) should be considered as part of a change of use application – from pub to who knows what but ultimately housing one assumes! In the absence of a change of use application these proposals should not even be considered let alone approved.
Several important points that the Chiltern Society will be raising include:
- Although the alterations will be detrimental to the functioning of the pub, and although the drawings imply a change of use, the applications are for listed building consent only. No application for change of use has been made. Should consent be granted and work be allowed to proceed then the pub’s future would be seriously endangered.
- If the alterations proceed then the cost of converting the building back to pub use may be prohibitive, thus making the developers statement that ‘the pub isn’t viable’ come true.
- By making a second application, which supersedes the first, there is a risk that the 40 plus objections will be lost, unless all the objectors resubmit their objections.
- Removal of the glazed link (a relatively modern addition) may be acceptable in the listed building context but would sever the connection between the pub and restaurant.
- Ask that no works should be allowed to proceed prior to obtaining a change of use consent.
In addition to submitting your comments to the application online via the planning portal, you can contact either Erica Vilkauls or Richard White, of the Chiltern Society ‘Save our Pubs’ Group.
The Valiant Trooper in Aldbury near Tring won the CAMRA Pub of the Year Award 2019, let’s not let it go without a fight! Have your say before 13 July and before it’s too late!