Flats scheme for fire-hit York pub looks set to go ahead – in the face of huge community opposition
Handsome Victorian pub the Jubilee could soon be largely turned over to flats.
A scheme to transform the first and second floor of the Balfour Street pub into three flats has been recommended for approval by council planners.
It was see a small pub retained on the ground floor, and function room on the first floor.
The scheme, by developer Tri-Core, is similar to a previous application that was rejected by both City of York Council and a government inspector.
More than 800 people signed a petition against that scheme.
The new plan has attracted 57 objections, including from the Jubilee Community Pub Group, which is campaigning to reopen the Jubilee as a going concern.
The 1897 Walter Brierley-designed pub has been listed as an Asset of Community Value. But it was closed by Enterprise Inns and has been empty for years, attracting vandals and arson attacks – like the one on 13 March.
In their report, City of York Council planners say the flats scheme should be approved.
As well as the small pub and function room, the scheme includes a beer garden, they say, adding: “The future style or ownership of the pub is unknown, however, it is considered that should the managers seek to operate it in a way that focuses on a ‘community model’, adequate space (including that for storage) remains available for this approach to be taken.
“Furthermore, the changes are not considered to undermine the ability to adapt the building for other community uses should a pub use prove unviable.”
But Paul Crossman, who runs three successful community pubs in York and is also chair of the national Campaign for Pubs, says the Jubilee should be brought back to its former glory.
In his objection, he writes of his three pubs: “Two of these were pub company disposal sites, just as was The Jubilee.
“Both of our disposal sites, The Slip Inn, Clementhorpe and the Volunteer Arms, Watson Street (in Holgate Ward, like The Jubilee), are now thriving award-winning local community pubs, providing employment, local economic benefits, a healthy return to the Exchequer, social cohesion and great community utility.
“It is my very firm opinion that there is no reason why the Jubilee cannot be returned to full use in exactly the same way, to the enormous benefit of the local community.
“Its loss would represent a completely unacceptable loss of
amenity to the local area.”
You can see the planning application here.