Rally Round the Tally – part 3 !

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Another week has passed and a lot more has happened on the road to getting the Tally Ho re-opened as a thriving pub.  Following last week’s Extraordinary General Meeting of Littlehempston Parish Council (draft minutes available here), a huge amount of time and energy has been put into sending responses to the planning applications into South Hams District Council.  We’re sure everyone who supports the Tally Ho wants to thank everyone else who’s helped by writing in, so we’re all very grateful to each other !  What a great community team to be a part of !!

The scale of our response seems to have rather overwhelmed SHDC with letters and e-mails often taking at least a couple of days to appear on their website.  At the time of writing there are responses from at least 65 different people, as well as a petition signed by 56 people, but we think there are more in the pipeline. You can see all the responses to the application for the conversion of the Tally Ho into a private residence by clicking here, the responses to the listed building application for the Tally Ho here, and the responses to the application for change of use of the barn here.

It’s not too late to write in ! We’ve heard from SHDC’s Development Management department that, although the formal deadline for responses to these applications was Wednesday 24th October, you can still write or e-mail, and your response will be taken into account, right up until the decisions are made on these applications.  So if you haven’t written or e-mailed yet and you’d like to support the Tally Ho, there’s still time – but you need to get on with it !  The same thing applies, of course, if you know someone else in the same position – encourage them to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard !  You’ll find lots of advice on how to make your response effective by clicking on the Tally Ho ! item on this website’s main menu (on your left) – or just click here.

Last week Lindy Collard-Baker contacted Phillip Saint (current owner of the Tally Ho) to see if a meeting could be arranged – basically just to keep a communication channel open. As a result Lindy, Bee Criddle and Mike Thomas met Phillip Saint and his wife Elizabeth, and their planning agent Steven Bottomley at the Tally Ho last Monday evening (22nd October).  Outcomes of the meeting were that the Tally Ho is still for sale, either as a package with the barn, or separately, and Phillip Saint would be happy for it to be sold to the community if that were possible.  Lindy, Bee and Mike said they believed the community wanted to see the Tally Ho re-open as a pub as soon as possible.

On Thursday 25th October there was a meeting of the Rally Round the Tally Campaign team – which is not quite as formal or organised as it sounds !  It’s the group that got together (with a couple of changes) to help publicise the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting, and to provide advice at the second part of that meeting on how best to respond effectively to the planning applications.  Five people got together on Thursday: Lindy Collard-Baker, Bee Criddle, Neil Kelly, David Melland, and Mike Thomas.  We made a few decisions:

  • Our aim is: “To see the Tally Ho re-opened as a thriving pub at the heart of the village”.
  • We would like to see the Tally Ho registered with SHDC as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act 2012.
  • We will investigate community owned pubs, co-operatives etc. to see what possible ways forward there are towards a community purchase.
  • We will contact several organisations that seem likely to offer help and advice to help get the Tally Ho open again

The Rally Tally team are very anxious that they should have the backing of the wider community that supports the Tally Ho. That community appeared very united at last week’s Extraordinary Parish Council meeting, and has done so again in the responses that have gone to SHDC.  So if you want to be involved in any way: offering help, advice or expertise; asking us to do something else (or not do something); or if you want to join us – please get in touch.  And if you don’t like what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, or you disagree with us – please tell us that too.

November’s regular Parish Council meeting has been brought forward to next Monday 29th October (19.45 in the Church) so that the PC can agree their responses to the planning applications and submit them to SHDC before a final decision is made.  Parish Council meetings are public, so a few Tally Ho supporters there wouldn’t go amiss.

Here are some links to other websites that look as if they’ll be useful to the Rally Tally campaign:

If you want to be kept up to date with the Rally Round the Tally campaign to get our pub re-opened, you can subscribe to the Rally Round the Tally e-mail list by clicking here.

And finally…  There’s another pub called the Tally Ho! in Hungerford Newtown, West Berkshire.  In July this year, West Berkshire District Council refused a planning application for change of use of the Tally Ho! to housing.  Now local supporters are well down the road towards a community purchase of their pub.  Have a look at their website Save the Tally! – we could be just a few months behind them !

Mike Thomas

Rally Round the Tally – part 2 !

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About 50 people attended the Extraordinary General Meeting of Littlehempston Parish Council on Wednesday 17th October to let the Parish Council know what they thought about the planning applications to turn the Tally Ho! into a private residence. A show of hands revealed that nobody at the meeting was in favour of the planning applications being granted.  Rosemary Rowe, our South Hams District Councillor, was also there and she stressed that letters of objection needed to include sound planning reasons, related to the Council’s planning policies, if South Hams were going to refuse these applications.  You can read the draft minutes of the meeting here.

The formal Parish Council meeting was followed by a less formal session where local residents Bee Criddle, Neil Kelly and Mike Thomas handed out advice on the most effective ways to object to the applications.  You can read that advice here.

The following day Lindy Collard-Baker and Mike Thomas both went to Follaton House to make enquiries at the planning department – Lindy wanted to discuss the timing of the Parish Council’s response and Mike wanted to ask a question about the application for change of use of the Tally Ho’s barn.  Lindy and Mike ended up having a two hour meeting with Richard Gage – the planning officer that’s dealing with these applications !

Mr Gage started by explaining that, based on the information supplied by Phillip Saint with his planning applications, the conditions set out in South Hams’ planning policies that are imposed on applications had been met.  Specifically, accounts had been submitted which proved the Tally Ho! wasn’t a viable business, and it had been advertised at a realistic price and no buyer found.  So Mr Gage’s main concern was to preserve the historic building as effectively as possible and he felt that these applications worked well in that respect as they involved very little modification of the structure.

Lindy and Mike were able to tell Richard Gage that many people had expressed the view at the previous evening’s meeting that the Tally Ho! was not inherently non-viable – it had just not been run very effectively in recent years.  They also reported that offers had been made to buy the pub, but they hadn’t been accepted by Phillip Saint, and that villagers felt the pub had not been well advertised or offered at a realistic price.

Mr Gage stressed that if such arguments were to be effective, they must be set out clearly in letters to SHDC, with as much solid objective evidence as possible, and related to SHDC’s planning policies and the application’s supporting statement.  The meeting finished with Richard Gage stressing how pleased he was that the community were interested in, and getting involved with, these applications.  He made it clear that he really welcomed community involvement.

We’ve added a Tally Ho ! item to this website’s main menu (on your left) which currently links to detailed advice on how to find these applications and the associated documents, and how best to respond to them.  We’ve updated that advice after the meeting with Richard Gage to make it simpler to follow.

Quite a few people at Wednesday evening’s meeting left their names and e-mail addresses so that they could be kept up to date by e-mail, so we’ve set up a new mailing list specifically for the Rally Round the Tally campaign.  If you’d like to be added to the mailing list you can subscribe here.

Rally Round the Tally !

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The owners of Littlehempston’s village pub, the Tally Ho, have applied for planning permission to convert it into a private house.  The notices were first spotted on Friday 28th September, and on Wednesday 3rd October about 15 concerned residents turned up at the parish council meeting.  The parish council decided to call an Extraordinary General Meeting on Wednesday 17th October at 7.30 pm in the Church so that they can find out what Littlehempston people think and feel about the possible loss of their pub.

You can see the planning applications on the South Hams District Council’s website.  There are three applications altogether – here are links to them all:

If you click on any of those links, and then click on View Plans and Documents you’ll find there are a lot of documents available for you to view and download. The most interesting seem to be the Supporting Statements, which set out landlord Phil Saint’s reasons for making these applications, and the Historic Building Assessments, which give a thoroughly researched and comprehensive history of the Tally Ho.

Josephine Brown MA MSc IHBC, who wrote the Historic Building Assessment, ends her conclusion with these words “… the Tally Ho Inn has played a central role in the life of the village for approximately 350 years.”

So what can you do if you don’t want that central role to end forever ? Here are some suggestions:

  • Find out more at the Extraordinary General Meeting on Wednesday 17th October and let the parish council know what you think. If our Parish Council recommend refusing these applications, then it at least means that they will be considered by SHDC’s full planning committee (i.e. by District Councillors), rather than be delegated to planning officers.
  • Write to SHDC objecting to these applications.  That can be done by e-mail (from the SHDC Planning web pages we’ve linked to above), or by ordinary post – and it would help if all e-mails and letters could be copied to Littlehempston Parish Council here or to:
    Mrs L Jensen, Clerk to LHPC
    2 Afton Tor Cottages
    Berry Pomeroy
    TQ9 6NH
    All e-mails and letters to SHDC planning department must be received by them by 24th October, so there isn’t long to write in, but it’s worth spending a bit of time finding out the most effective arguments to use in favour of refusing these applications. Bear in mind that if SHDC are to refuse them, they will want to do so on planning grounds. Have a look at SHDC’s Local Development Framework Development Policies Development Plan Document. Section DP9 on pages 34 to 36 makes very interesting reading.
  • Write to your SHDC Councillor Rose Rowe at:
    Rydon Mead
    Paignton Road
    Stoke Gabriel
    TQ9 6QQ
  • Write to your Devon County Councillor Trevor Pennington here or at:
    44 Moorview
    TQ3 1PL
  • Write to your MP Dr Sarah Wollaston at:
    House of Commons
    SW1A 0AA

There seems to be lots of good practical and objective advice around about how to save our local pub.  We quickly came across this CAMRA website which looks very helpful.

It’s important to remember that there are three planning applications. The first two apply to the pub itself, but the third applies to the barn which is currently used as B&B or self catering accommodation. You don’t have to respond to all the applications in the same way. For example, you may be happy to see the barn split off, converted and sold as a dwelling, as that would make the pub a more viable business.

Finally, if you have any difficulty accessing any of the websites or downloading any of the documents that we’ve linked to in this news item, or if you’d like to get involved in fighting these applications, please contact us !

(Added 17 October 2012) You can find out much more about how to respond to these planning applications by reading How can I help save the Tally Ho ? or clicking on Tally Ho ! in the menu on your left.

A new reading group for Littlehempston?

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Would you be interested in a focused but informal reading group that would meet up to share views over a glass of wine and nibbles? Jude Allen has recently moved to the village and would be happy to get things going. The idea is to have  a small group – maybe ten people – that meets monthly at members’ houses. Jude suggests that the group could also branch out into play-reading nights – something she’s done before and found fantastically entertaining. What a great way to bring merriment to the long winter nights! If you’re interested, please contact us and we’ll forward your e-mail to Jude or phone her on 867 392 and she’ll organise the first get together at her place.

Laughing your way to fitness

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On Monday October 1st, a Latin American beat wafted from the church, as the first Zumba class started up. And what a laugh it was! The tutor, Alexandra, swayed gracefully at the front, while the rest followed with a varying degree of success. Everyone had a good workout, whilst enjoying some great music. The classes cost £6 and will run every Monday for a trial period of 6 weeks. It’s not too late to join: all ablities and degrees of flexibility are welcome. There’s no getting down onto the floor: it’s all done standing up, with the more energetic bouncing and the less springy just bending slightly. So why not shed inhibitions and pounds and come along next Monday at 6.30pm?

A gentle exercise class on Monday afternoons is also possible, if enough people show an interest. This form of exercise can be done sitting down, so may appeal to the less mobile. If you’re interested in this or want more information on Zumba, contact Jill Todd.

A Grand Opening !

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A magical evening was had by all at the Grand Opening of Littlehempston’s Community Space. After a quiet re-opening in May, it was decided to push the boat out and on Friday September 28th, a delighted audience enjoyed a superb performance by Rev Freddy Denman of “The Importance of Being Oscar”, a play by Micheál macLiammóir that told of the wit, triumph and tragedy of the life of Oscar Wilde. This play was first performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1960 and since then has toured all over the world.

At the interval, all sat down to a delicious home-made meal of coronation chicken, chocolate brownies to die for and meringues, accompanied by lashings of good humour and wine. At the end of the evening, everyone rallied round and within the hour, the Space was cleared and the church sat “in repose” once again. A huge thank you to all involved in making the evening such a success – you know who you are!

Littlehempston Space has certainly got a great future in café theatre! If any local artists, musicians or thespians want a performance space, just get in touch with the Community Space team.