Campaigners continue fight to save 400-year-old former pub in Reed

Campaigners are fighting to save The Cabinet at Reed from development. Picture: Bianca Wild

Campaigners are fighting to save The Cabinet at Reed from development. Picture: Bianca Wild - Credit: Archant

Campaigners in Reed are continuing their fight to save a 400-year-old former pub from being split into two separate buildings.

An application proposing to split The Cabinet – a Grade II-listed pub – was submitted early last year, but was refused by North Herts District Council in April 2019.

Although the plans were refused, a small part of the building has been advertised to lease on community advertising website Gumtree for use as a tiny pub or takeaway restaurant.

Members of the Save the Cabinet Action Group believe that the owner intends to continue to treat the main part of the pub as his private home.

Chairman Mike Howes said: “The owner of The Cabinet is making a mockery of the planning system.

“Despite exactly this proposal being flatly refused by the planners last year, it’s clear he intends to press ahead regardless. He knows perfectly well that a tiny pub with limited kitchen and toilets would never be viable.

“Perhaps he thinks he can take advantage of lockdown to sneak this under our noses.”

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The present owner acquired the pub at auction in 2015, and permission for change of use was initially refused by North Herts Planning Control Committee in August 2017. A subsequent appeal was dismissed by the independent Planning Inspectorate in December 2018, following a three-day public enquiry.

Mike said: “Our campaign to restore The Cabinet has had massive support from the local community and beyond. We’re determined to get the whole of our pub back and make it the successful and popular village hostelry we know it can be.

“Now it must be for NHDC to enforce the law. They know what’s going on, and they need to get tough – otherwise the planning system will become a laughing stock and it will be a free-for-all for unscrupulous developers.”

Richard Newman, who owns The Cabinet, said: “I am opening a restaurant here. I am not splitting it into two buildings – I think this has been misunderstood.

“I am going to live here but open the restaurant – I’m working with chefs to put the menu together and we should be opening in July.

“We’re not renting out, splitting or changing the restaurant around.”