Ham & Blackbird at risk

Ham & Blackbird local press report

Ham & Blackbird local press report

The Ham & Blackbird is at risk.

The Ham & Blackbird is located in the middle of a busy roundabout, on a busy main road the A325, just outside Farnborough Station.

It was owned by Whitbread, who are doing their best to blight our towns with their tacky Premier Inns and Costa Coffee shops.

A greedy developer has acquired the Ham & Blackbird, and as is the wont of greedy developers, is already destroying the trees.

Ham & Blackbird

Ham & Blackbird

The proposal is 62 flats, mixed one and two bedrooms. It would be difficult to imagine a worse location, highly polluted, traffic noise, difficult and dangerous access, and totally inadequate parking.

As a pub, Ham & Blackbird is soulless, as much appeal as a bar in a Premier Inn or a Costa Coffee shop, but its loss is sill the loss of a pub, the fourth within less than a year in Farnborough.

Railway Hotel c 1903

Railway Hotel c 1903

The age of the pub, it has been there since at least 1873, commensurate with the arrival of the Victorian railway, previously known as New Inn and Railway Hotel, meets the criteria for it to listed as a building of local historical interest, and if it meeets the criteraia, then it has to be listed.

Tumbledown Dick, Imperial Arms, Old Courthouse, Ham & Blackbird, which pub will be next when the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor gets into bed with developers? Not content with trashing Aldershot and Farnborough, carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing of local businesses, the local council now seems intent on destroying local pubs, and in doing so, also wiping out what little remains of local heritage.

Your local might be next. The Ship Inn is likely to be the next target.

The Swan Inn is at risk, now that it is owned by TAG. What business does the owner of Farnborough Airport have in owning a pub? A lot if you wish to expand the airort and the Public Safety Zone then encompaases the pub.

Just down the road, The Tumbledown Dick is to be destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

Just down the road, Firgrove Parade to be demolished destroying four local businesses. The trees on Firgrove Green have already been destroyed.

Unbelievable hypocrisy from Gareth Lyon, chair of the local planning committee, who stitched up a deal with McDonald’s to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, whose chairing of the committee was a disgrace, who afterwards bragged that the committee had approved the plans he had agreed beforehand with McDonald’s.

Unbelievable hypocrisy from Gareth Lyon with his comments on trees.

There are a lot of large trees on the site and the council could object to any plans because of them.

Yes, and pigs might fly. The council can be relied upon to find the trees in poor state of health, refuse to serve Tree Preservation Orders, and do whatever it takes to facilitate development taking place, as the council did for Firgrove Green, and has done for many other unwanted developments.

Unbelievable hypocrisy by David Clifford, a local councillor who with Gareth Lyon and a second member of the planning committee, met with McDonald’s in secret, behind closed doors, behind the backs of the local community, and stitched up a deal with McDonald’s to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, then when the planning committee did as they were told and rubber-stamped the plans, gloated on his blog that he was lovin’ it.

To date, the local community has been reacting to events. They must get ahead of the game:

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12 Responses to “Ham & Blackbird at risk”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Udate: Greedy developer has gone in and cut down all the trees.

    Note: Greedy devleoper has exhibition at St Peter´s Church Hall this Saturday. Please attend and make it very clear what you think of them.

  2. John Karban Says:

    Couldn’t agree more, Conservative-run Rushmoor Council seem to want the town dominated by large corporations. And when it comes to pubs, why are they so anti-pub? A town without pubs has no soul. No amount of fast-food drive-thrus compensates.

  3. keithpp Says:

    We have a rotten and corrupt council, that has nothing but contempt for the local community, local businesses, that is hell bent on trashing both Aldershot and Farnborough, destroying what little heritage is left, carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing of local businesses.

    It is not only the Tories, we have a majority of councillors who are not fit for purpose, who fail to act on behalf and in the best interest of the local economy, local communinty, who fail to scrutinise what is put before them.

  4. KevinRCarter Says:

    A pointless exhibition at St Peters Church. Why bother? They are obviously going to build on the site so why pretend that local opinion has any say?

  5. keithpp Says:

    It is worth making the effort to go along, the more the merrier, to give the greedy developers a hard time.

    There is going to be ordinary members of the publc turning up, talk with them, encourage them to fight this rotten and corrupt council.

  6. Peter Coulson Says:

    I see it’s finally got the go-ahead, so the council have their way.

  7. keithpp Says:

    It is on the front page of the local rag,

    Another death blow to Farnborough.

    Destruction of half the town centre, social housing demolished for a car park, The Tumbledown Dick destroyed for Drive-Thru McDonald’s, Firgrove Green destroyed for an eyesore multi-story Premier Inn. And now blocks of flats in the middle of a roundabout.

    The local planners may be able to lead witless councillors by the nose, but when it comes to a Public Inquiry, they are shown for the worthless jobsworth that they are, and that is assuming they do not deliberately throw in the towel.

    t would be difficult to imagine a more insane location for blocks of flats than in the middle of a roundabout on a busy main road.

    An accident waiting to happen.

    Nor a more unpleasant location to live, noise and traffic fumes all day long.

    Begs the question: Does location exceed WHO air pollution levels?

    I doubt the useless planners collected the data, let alone challenged on these grounds at the Public Inquiry.

    Flats will not of course be marketed in Farnborough. They will be marketed in London.

  8. Peter Coulson Says:

    I don’t think the council actually wanted it, didn’t they refuse the planning permission? The developers had to go to appeal. It did waste a years worth of taxpayers money defending their decision though, to no avail.

  9. Peter Coulson Says:

    That will bring the number of flats on that road junction to close on 500!

  10. keithpp Says:

    At a guess, the planners pushed for it, as ever acting for developers, once in a blue moon, the witless councillors refuse to act as instructed.

    Firgrove Green is instructive,

    Internal e-mails, show this development was seen as not only bad, that it would bring the entire planning system into disrepute.

    For reasons not known, more money offered maybe, an about turn.

    Head of Planning blatantly lied, claimed the trees were in very poor state of health, would have to be cut down whatever. He referenced a tree report.

    No tree report was included within the agenda even though many councillors said it was crucial to their decision. They also questioned why the tree officer was not present to answer questions. It was assumed the report that no one saw was was from the tree officer.

    It turned out, the tree report was from the developer. The tree officer approve the report, even though tree officer never visited the site.

    The trees, when cut down were seen to be healthy trees.

    At this time of year, the cherry trees would be coming into blossom.

    There was a restrictive conversant on the site that would have prevented development. This was waived by a cabinet meeting in secret session. It was sold for a pittance, a few hundred pounds. No public consultation.

    The Tumbledown Dick is also instructive.

    The campaign group although they made many mistakes, they did produce an excellent well researched report on The Tumbledown Dick.

    The dysfunctional council commissioned a report, not from a historical research group, but from a consultancy with no expertise, that bragged it pushed through planning decisions on behalf of developers. Their report was so bad, it would not have passed muster as a school project.

    Officials lied on traffic, litter, antisocial behaviour.

    Health is a planning matter. Council took legal advice to ignore. No one questioned this, asked who authorised, how much did it cost, who gave the advice.

    A planning official, not as one would expect, Borough Solicitor, relayed this advice.

    The advice was not included in the Agenda.

    Chairman Gareth Lyon, who is unfit to hold any public office, met in secret with McDonald’s, then bragged his committee had approved what he had agreed with McDonald’s.

    This would be like the foreman of a jury meeting with a one side in a criminal case, then bragging later he had deliver the verdict they wanted.

    Gareth Lyon should be in a prison cell.

    These examples are but scraping the surface of the degree of rottenness.

  11. Peter Coulson Says:

    They are taking this to appeal as I now see. They’ll just waste more time and money.

  12. keithpp Says:

    Nothing like the stench of hypocrisy, especially when from a bunch of local politicians.

    More to do with local elections.

    There is no Appeal to a decision of a Planning Inquiry. It is the Appeal, and can only be mounted by a developer.

    All that can be done is mount a legal challenge, and have to have leave of a judge to do so, and of course have grounds to do so.

    Much as I think this is an appallingly bad planning decision, I see no grounds to mount a legal challenge, and none have been stated.

    It has to be on procedure or a point of law, not because do not like the decision.

    I dare say nothing more will be heard once local elections have passed.


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