Campaigners vow to 'fight on' to save Golden Harp

Campaigners vow to 'fight on' to save Golden Harp

Nicola Hine

Campaigners vow to 'fight on' to save Golden Harp
The Golden Harp, Furze Platt

Campaigners have pledged to 'fight on' in their battle to save the Golden Harp in Maidenhead from Tesco despite being dealt a bitter blow by the Royal Borough.

Maidenhead development control panel agreed not to issue an Article 4 direction in relation to the Furze Platt Road pub, which would force Tesco to submit a full planning application to turn it into an Express store.

As it stands the company, which already owns the lease, does not need change of use planning permission.

In February the borough was handed petitions put together by Furze Platt Action Group (FPAG) and the nearby Best One store containing about 3,000 signatures.

At a full council meeting on April 23 all but one councillor appeared to support the protestors, and calls were made for the viability of an Article 4 direction to be explored.

But at the panel meeting on Wednesday the idea was shot down following more than two hours of consideration.

Chairman of FPAG Mark Newcombe said: "After all the euphoria of the last meeting for them to turn around and make a unanimous decision against this is a bit hard to take."

He added: "But the fight goes on. We're not resting. It's just we would have had more tools if we got the article 4."

Group members are being encouraged to write letters of objection to the council against six planning applications Tesco has submitted to make material changes to the pub site.

These include plans to install a cash machine and signage.

So far about £30,000 has been pledged by residents willing to invest as a shareholder in the pub should the group be given the chance to win it back.

See this week's Advertiser for a full report as well as letters reacting to the decision.

Do you think the council was right not to issue an Article 4? Leave your comments in the box below.

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