Connect with us

News

Council refusal ‘straw that broke camel’s back’ for Cambridgeshire pub/café

Haddenham pub owners say they have wrestled with a series of unprecedented challenges

Avatar photo

Published

on

A family is to close its country pub and café after being turned down for a building plot to provide “necessary capital injection to allow the business to continue for many years to come”. Ironically, East Cambridgeshire District Council told Chris Taylor and his family who run the Cherry Tree at Haddenham that if permission were given it could cause “significant and demonstrable harm” to the business.

“The proposal would result in a significant loss of garden space for the existing café/public house which has the potential to impact the ongoing viability to The Cherry Tree public house,” planners told them.

“The application has failed to provide appropriate evidence to demonstrate that the viability of the community facility will not be affected.”

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

The Taylors had wanted to re-shape the pub car park to allow for a building plot for a 4-bedroom house with a new access to the café/bar and spent 18 months trying to gain consent.

But East Cambridgeshire District Council refused it on viability grounds and also claim the Taylors had “failed to demonstrated that the new access would not cause significantly detrimental impacts to highways safety”.

Planners felt “the proposed development would result in a benefit of an additional dwelling in the housing stock” but that was outweighed by “the significant and demonstrable harm that this scheme would result in to the community facility and highways safety”.

In a Facebook post the family says: “Taking account of the challenges referenced above (and common to all small businesses) we hoped that ECDC would take a pragmatic view and be doing all that they can to support local employers.

“For us, this has proved not to be the case and has been the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Less than five months after being refused permission, the Taylors throw in the towel on Sunday.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the family has explained to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

“We should start by saying that over the last few years we have been overwhelmed with the kindness, loyalty and support of the local and wider community,” says their Facebook post.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

“During our Cherry Tree journey, we have been lucky enough to meet and work with some incredible people and businesses, most of whom have become friends who we will truly miss seeing day to day”.

Since opening in October 2019, the Taylors say they have wrestled with a series of unprecedented challenges:

The Covid pandemic

Huge cost of living increases

A major change in customers’ social habits

“And most pivotal to us, a family bereavement that has left us all devastated. It also resulted in an extended closure of the business, the impact of which, we have never really recovered from,” says their post.

But they emphasis they have worked hard to become a community hub and list some of the things they have provided.

Midwifery advice clinic (free of charge)

During lockdown

– Milk, bread, egg & flour supplies, and delivery

– An outdoor Winter Fayre to support local traders

– Pizza takeaway & delivery

A safe, supportive space for Mums and young families

The Chatty Table Scheme

Monthly Quiz nights

Local Charity Events

Venue for:

o Crafting groups

o Weddings

o Birthdays

o Wakes

o Christenings and Baby Showers

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

o Fayres

o Baby Ballet

o Wreath Making

o Baby / toddler groups

o Breakfast with Santa

o Open Mic Nights

o Dog shows!

The post adds: “Throughout this period, we have continued to operate by subsidising the business from personal resources and savings. We did this as we really wanted The Cherry Tree to work and have loved being a part of our community.

“Over the past 18 months it has become increasingly obvious that this approach is not sustainable; even with the amazing support from our customers, family and friends.”

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

The Taylors say they have explored a range of options to enable us to continue.

These included:

Seeking external investment from interested locals. Despite a number of interested parties and financial commitments “-we didn’t get to the figure required”.

Seeking an external buyer for the business and premises. “During the last 18 months we have had 4 ‘firm’ commitments for purchase. However, these have all fallen by the wayside – for a variety of reasons”.

Seeking planning approval for the development of the existing car park.

Their statement adds: “This development proposal included the creation of a new and improved tarmacked car park and much needed enhancements to the remaining outdoor space.

“The proposed sale of the development plot would have provided the necessary capital injection to allow the business to continue for many years to come.

“Unfortunately, East Cambridgeshire District Council finally (after 18 months) rejected the application on grounds relating to their concerns for the ongoing viability of the business (with a reduced outdoor space).

“There was also an objection from Cambridgeshire highways – the details of which seem particularly nonsensical considering recent approvals granted in the village.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

“In summary, this lack of the required investment / capital injection into the business has meant that East Cambridgeshire DC, by their rejection of the application, have achieved exactly the opposite of what they stated as their concern, in the rationale for their decision.

“This, despite our continued warnings that this would be the outcome.

“As a family, we have put our heart and soul (and considerable money) into The Cherry Tree and think we have provided a needed and much-loved community asset.

“We have built a great team of staff (and have employed more than 20 local people in full / part-time roles over the last 4 years) and feel truly sorry to now be saying goodbye to them. We hope they will all find new roles locally and wish them the best for the future.

“Finally, we need to thank all of our wonderful customers, suppliers, local businesses and employees for their support over the years – we certainly wouldn’t have made it so far without you”.

Among three objections (there were five letters in support) to the Taylors planning application was that from Haddenham parish council.

They offered an opinion as far back as October 2022.

The parish council planning committee “resolved to recommend outright refusal for the application in its current form.

“Whilst recognising the community asset that the Cherry Tree is, and being extremely supportive of it, the committee were concerned about the future viability of the business with such a marked reduction in outdoor amenity space, particularly during the summer months.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

Headed ‘permanent closure of the Haddenham Cherry Tree’ the owners have explained on Facebook to its customers and friends their momentous decision.

“The committee questioned whether more of the outside space could be retained, and the cycle parking provision utilised as car parking.

“It was also noted that the proposed new property constituted overdevelopment in its present form.

“From a road safety perspective, there were concerns with the visibility splays, which have already been highlighted by county highways.

“It was also noted that the area is currently subject to a consultation for a 20mph zone which would include additional lining, further limiting on-street parking.”

Facebook

Read More

The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022 The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022
News14 hours ago

Wayne Fitzgerald’s bruising attack on John Holdich for ‘backing these traitors but not unexpected knowing the man he is’

'Difficult decisions had to be made which John Holdich had dodged for years'

LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris. LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris.
News17 hours ago

Cambridgeshire Star Wars actor Warwick Davis mourns death of beloved wife Samantha

In 2018 Samantha received the Points of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May

Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley. Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley.
News18 hours ago

Modern slavery victims found locked inside Cambridgeshire farm during £1.5m cannabis factory raid

Police seized 1,845 cannabis plants from an outbuilding worth £1.5m

News19 hours ago

Peterborough City Council slaps temporary tree preservation order on ‘devastated’ Gunthorpe site

The city council has set a deadline of May 15 for all representations.

Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour
News1 day ago

Homeowner wins appeal against East Cambs Council to open dog grooming business

'The appeal is allowed, and planning permission is granted for a change of use'

Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic
News2 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Diabolically outrageous high energy turbo charged queerness’

Shawna Hamic is Ursula the sea witch and is simply majestic

Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning. Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning.
News2 days ago

13-year-old boy ‘borrows’ family’s £35,000 Audi estate and crashes into wall

Teenager arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking

Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022. Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022.
News3 days ago

Victim falsely accused of rape by Ely man Darren Moore left ‘feeling suicidal’

Moore, of Douglas Court, Ely, was arrested for perverting the course of justice

Although Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) and other Cambridgeshire county councillors will not face re-election this May, voters in Peterborough are set to go to the polls next month to re-elect one third of Peterborough City Council Although Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) and other Cambridgeshire county councillors will not face re-election this May, voters in Peterborough are set to go to the polls next month to re-elect one third of Peterborough City Council
Local Council3 days ago

Lucy Nethsingha urges Peterborough voters ‘to work out how not to have a Conservative’ elected in May

Cambridgeshire County Council leader's advice to Peterborough voters

• Peterborough soul sensation Nicole Lawrence with Craig Revel Horwood • Peterborough soul sensation Nicole Lawrence with Craig Revel Horwood
News3 days ago

Craig Revel Horwood helps hospital charity raise fab_u_lous £30,000

Guest of honour was the charity’s patron, Strictly star Craig Revel Horwood.