Campaingers vow to fight on after bid to protect Battle of Britain site and borough’s remaining pubs rejected
PUBLISHED: 12:04 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 13 January 2017
Residents are said to be “at a loss” as to how the council reached its decision
Campaigners have vowed to fight on after losing their bid to have the site of the Battle of Britain and the borough’s remaining pubs protected from developers.
Gravesham Council last week refused to designate the site of the former Northfleet pub an asset of community value (ACV) and also ruled out giving blanket Article 4 protection to other pubs in the borough.
The Battle of Britain Community Group, formed by local residents after the pub was illegally demolished, had hoped to force the developers who knocked down the pub to rebuild it if the site had been listed as an ACV.
In a statement, the group vowed to challenge the decision and to continue pressing for Article 4 protection, with residents said to be “at a loss to understand how this decision could be reached”.
“This was a much-loved and used community meeting place, where families, friends and neighbours would meet, hold birthday parties, weddings and wakes, and was regularly used for fundraising events and themed nights a stronger community asset you could not find,” the group said.
“It would appear looking at the council’s wording officers’ refusal of our community asset was based upon a fundamentally flawed principle, namely, upon the vandalised plot of land and not the asset.
“Clearly this should not have been the case as the ACV was submitted within the allowed timescale of 56 days, and had the owners/developers acted lawfully and followed the correct timescales laid out in the Town and Country Planning Act the Battle of Britain should still have been standing and that is what the decision should have been based upon.
“The Battle of Britain Group will be challenging that decision upon that basis.
“We will be continuing our pursuit of the blanket A4 article upon Gravesham’s remaining pubs.
“We will also be asking for the Council to refuse planning permission put forward by the owners/developers and issue an enforcement notice requiring the pub to be rebuilt.”