We can now confirm that Premier Pubs Estate have formally requested a review of the decision to register the Anchor public house as an asset of community value. The review will normally take place within 8 weeks of the Council having received a written request for a review. What we do not know is if Premier Pubs have sought an oral hearing.
Work has started on the old library site and we assume the first job is to complete the demolition of the old building. Access to the site is from Englefield Road. Those who have been following this story will know that New Vision Homes were granted planning permission in February 2015 to build a 3 storey block containing 9 residential units. Later New Vision Homes/Woking Borough council acquired land at the rear of the old library that fronts out on Englefield Road. Although this land has been acquired neither WBC nor New Vision Homes has stated what they plan for this land.
As workmen start to demolish the old library one must assume that New Vision Homes plan to go ahead with the single building that has been approved. Having suggested that the builder sticks to the original plans they showed a single entrance to the new flats being off the High Street but surely having acquired land at the rear it would make more sense to make the entrance off Englefiled Road! This change would require an amendment to the agreed plans and as yet no such amendment has been published.
If the demolition is completed by the end of October then the annual Armistice Day service may be held on the land in front of the old library.
As of 5th September, Knaphill library will be open during the following hours :
Monday 1 – 5 Thursday 10 – 1, 2 – 5
Tuesday 10 – 1, 2 – 5 Friday 10 – 1, 2 – 5
Wednesday Closed Saturday 9.30 – 4
After chasing an update for several months, we have just been informed that the situation regarding Knaphill is the following, which is a direct quote from a communication from Inspector Nolan Heather, from the Woking Area Policing Team of Surrey Police:
“In April we underwent a change in how we deliver our front line service. This resulted in a new model called Policing in your Neighbourhood (PIYN). This is good news for each borough as it means that each area now has its own uniformed team who are locally led. The old Safer Neighbourhood Team has also changed as well. It has become smaller and is focusing on tackling repeat issues on the borough.
For Knaphill, PCSO Sultan Khan is still the point of contact for the area. He is managed by PS Emmie Harris and both of them form part of the wider team that looks after Woking.
In regards of the names and numbers to contact, for an emergency it will be 999 as this will provide the quickest response. If the incident is not an emergency then the 101 number is the next best number to call. This will ensure that your call is logged and details can be passed onto the team. This reduces the risk of the matter being missed should the officer be away on leave for example. Residents can also contact the local team on firstname.lastname@example.org (I must stress that this is not to be used to report crime).
We also have our own Facebook (Wokingbeat) and Twitter page (@wokingbeat). These both provide an opportunity for local residents to see what the team are currently involved with.”
The KRA are looking at the possibility of organising a public meeting with Inspector Heather so that he can explain in more detail the implications of the above and residents can ask questions and express any concerns or problems they might have. Details will be made available once this is firmed up.
I must thank Elizabeth Bell and John Stoker for the photographs.
The KRA has been monitoring the activities connected to the Anchor. Earlier in the year we were made aware that the owners of the pub were looking to close the pub and after consultation with local Councillors they started to devlop plans to utilize the building for apartments and retail units.
In May the Surrey Hants Borders Branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) submitted an application for the Anchor to be registered as an asset of community value.
On 15 July Woking Borough Council judged that the case presented by CAMRA meant that the Anchor met the criteria and the Anchor Inn has been registered as a pub and an asset of community value.
What does this mean?
Basically the Anchor must remain a public house for as long as it is registered. The decision notice states that the Anchor will be registered for five years.
Does this mean that the Anchor will remain open for business for the next five years?
No, the owners can decide to close the pub if they feel that the finances do not make it worthwhile keeping the doors open. However if the owners do close the pub and advertise the premises for sale or to be leased the new owners or leaseholders must operate the building as a pub. So the plans to change the use of the building are put on hold.
Are there grounds to appeal the decision?
Our understanding is that only the landowner has the right to request a review of the decision. The landowner is Premier Pubs Estate Limited and they have until 15 September to submit a request for a review if they wish to challenge The decision.
What is the concern of the KRA?
If the Anchor remains open as a public house that’s OK, our concern is that if Merlin Inns, current operators of the Anchor, decide to pull out and Premier Pubs cannot attract a new pub management company they will close the pub and the building stands empty. Once a building is boarded up and essential maintenance ceases a building will soon start to deteriorate. You only have to look at The Meadows, the hospital building that stands next to the Nags Head to see how an empty building soon becomes a wreck.
So that is where things stand, currently the Anchor Inn remains open for business, for how long, that is up to Premier Pubs and Merlin Inns.
the full report on the Anchor can be found on the website for Woking Borough Council. Write community asset into the search engine.
Over 2500 visitors came to the village show held last Saturday at Mizens Railway in Barrs Lane.
The show was opened by Cllr. Anne Murray, mayor of Woking. Here she is seen with her husband Michael, Cllr Hussain and John Butler enjoying a train ride.
Mention must be made of Knaphill Athletics ‘Beat the Goalie’ that alone raised over £200 for local charities and the fun dog show hosted by Oscar had 98 entries well done. For pictures will go up on our website in the days to come.
Woking Borough Council has recently published their annual report on air quality (2016 Air Quality Annual Status Report). This covers data collected over last year, 2015. WBC only measure levels of nitrogen dioxide. The Government has set a maximum figure that should not be exceeded and that is 40 units, two of the six measuring points on Anchor Hill exceeded this maximum figure which is unacceptable. This is not the first time the figures for Anchor Hill have exceeded the Governments limits and last year WBC had to declare an area round the top of Anchor Hill an Air Quality Management Area. This means that the Council have 12 – 18 months to devise a plan that will bring about change and thus improve the air quality at the top of Anchor Hill.
The plan for Anchor Hill included upgrading the traffic light system at the top of Anchor Hill. This will included linking the lights at the pedestrian crossing outside Tesco’s to the lights at the top of Anchor Hill. Surrey County Council expect to complete this work by the end of summer. However it will take at least 18 months before we see any serious reduction in the level of nitrogen dioxide in this area.
The full report from WBC can be found on their website.
The KRA had been told by Woking Borough Council that they along with Surrey County Council would present their plans for easing the congestion on the A322 between Brookwood Crossroads and the Bisley boundary. We have now received the agenda for the Joint Committee scheduled for 29 June and the A322 is not listed as an item for discussion. We have asked our local County Councillor for an explanation but none has been forthcoming.
Once you get out of the centre of the village Knaphill has some excellent footpaths and walks and it is important that we retain these. Woking Borough Council are currently reviewing their Greenbelt and the draft planning document did not consider any new development on the Greenbelt in Knaphill but of course residents in other parts of Woking have objected to draft plans for their area. It is important that if one objection is upheld that the Council do not try to raid what remains of our Greenbelt. The KRA will monitor developments.