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Lib Dems hopeful as Royal Standard appeal rejected

November 2, 2012 11:45 AM

A government planning inspector's decision not to turn Cambridge's Royal Standard pub into flats has been welcomed by the city's Liberal Democrats.

The Inspector has judged that any presumption in favour of development is "clearly outweighed by the comprehensive harm the proposal would cause by virtue of the loss of a valued community facility."

He also recommended that the Royal Standard "should now be marketed as a public house in accordance with sensible criteria such as those contained within the IPPG." (Cambridge City Council's Interim Planning Policy Guidance on the Protection of Public Houses).

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who campaigned locally to save the Standard and collected petition signatures on doorsteps, said: "This is fantastic news. I am delighted that the planning inspector recognised the Royal Standard's potential and appeal and has recommended that it be marketed as a public house once again. This is a valuable community asset and it would be great to see it up and running once more.

"It is also such a valuable and unique site historically and made a 125 year contribution to the community before it closed.

"This is an encouraging result for our campaign to protect local pubs. It is an incentive to planning authorities across the country to make a stand for our historic pubs so that they might be experienced and enjoyed by future generations."

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Kilian Bourke who represents Romsey said: "It is great news for Romsey Town that the planning inspector has rejected this appeal, but what is even more encouraging is that he clearly recognised the uniqueness of the site and its potential to offer a valuable service to the community."

"This unique, standalone pub and garden was built in the 19th century as a public amenity to serve the railway community, and as such is a valuable part of our local heritage. We need more housing, but not at the expense of our community's identity and history."

Cllr Bourke urged caution, saying: "There remain further hurdles to be overcome. Firstly, we must make absolutely sure that the developer properly markets the Standard as a public house. More than one local pub landlord is interested in acquiring the lease, and I hope they will have a genuine opportunity to do so."

Julian Huppert and Kilian Bourke are pictured with Tamsin Walker, leader of Empire Roads Action Group outside the Royal Standard.