Reed campaigners still up for the fight as village pub decision looms

PUBLISHED: 12:01 08 July 2017

Save the Cabinet group. Picture: Clive Porter

Save the Cabinet group. Picture: Clive Porter

Clive Porter

Reed campaigners fighting to save their 400-year-old pub are asking supporters to “demonstrate the strength of feeling in the community” to stop the site being permanently turned into housing.

Save The Cabinet Action Group have been opposing the application made by Richard Newman, who had previously said no one had made him an offer to keep the Grade II-listed building as a public house.

A North Herts District Council planning meeting to discuss the proposals will be held next Thursday, July 20, with the action group chairman Mike Howes urging the public to make their presence felt.

“The planning system was created so that building and development is managed in an orderly way, and so that this country’s heritage is properly safeguarded,” he said.

“Communities are entitled to look to the planning authority to protect them against unauthorised development by unscrupulous speculators out to make a fortune.

“At the meeting, we will be looking to our elected councillors for that protection.”

The group have said that Mr Newman had been making alterations without first obtaining the requisite permission or consent, but the developer has previously said that the district council were aware of his actions.

Mr Howes, who alongside fellow group members have set up a fighting fund, added: “The evidence we have submitted shows clearly that The Cabinet was a popular and viable pub in the past and could be again.

“Reed needs its pub to be restored as the hub of this community. And if the developer is allowed to get away with ignoring the law in the way he has, think of the example it would set it would be open season for developers wanting to line their pockets by closing country pubs, building houses and damaging heritage buildings, knowing that the system is too weak to provide proper democratic control.”

The planning committee meeting starts at 7.30pm on July 20 in the Icknield Centre, Letchworth, and the meeting is open to the public.

The Crow contacted Richard Newman for comment and he said: “I don’t have a comment to make, but there’s no change in my application and an architect is dealing with it.”

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