Save the Sir Ralph Abercromby update – Gary Neville puts development plans on hold…

Breaking News:

Gary Neville has asked Manchester City council to hold off from making any decision on the St Michael’s development as a result of “numerous complaints”, particularly those made by Historic England and campaign groups.

It’s not yet clear what this means for the future of the Sir Ralph Abercromby or what Neville means by “making final changes to the development plans”, but the branch will be campaigning to save the pub from Neville’s bulldozers at every turn.

You can read the Article, courtesy of the Manchester Evening News here: St Michael’s development on hold

 

 

Manchester Beer Audit 2017

The Manchester Beer Audit took place on the 20th May 2017 with the aim to prove that Manchester is the best city for beer in the UK.  We had a great day checking the ale in Manchester and stake our claim to be the Cask beer capital of Britain.

You can read the full press release here: Manchester stakes its claim as Cask Capital of Britain

The survey covered all pubs and bars in the Manchester City Council area which were open during the survey period including the City Centre and suburbs from Wythenshawe to Chorlton.

Our Branch Beer festival finds new home for 2017

thumbnail_mccfest2017-v3-p2-page001Where will the new Central Manchester Branch find another venue for a beer festival?

After a successful first beer festival at the People’s History Museum last July by the new Central Manchester Branch, a return for a 2nd Left Bank Beer Festival was thwarted by a quadrupling of the rent. Undeterred the Branch continued looking and a suggestion by a member to try the newest theatre in Manchester, 53Two, was fruitful.

The ex Bauer & Millett luxury car showroom opposite Britons Protection has proved to be a very suitable venue for a beer festival. With a capacity of just under 500, Central location and near various public transport links and very accommodating venue management, the new festival is a goer. Bearing in mind the surprising foot fall at the Left Bank where numbers dropped right off post 7pm, a decision has been made to only open to 9pm. With the Deansgate Locks proving to be a “drunks magnet” the venue management are also very happy with these hours.

The plan will be to have a Central Manchester Bar with beers from every one of the smaller breweries within the Branch boundary – there are 7 in the boundary and another 5 just outside! This will, of course, mean we will be providing both keg, KeyKeg, and cask beers – another new move by a new branch. There will then be a 2nd larger bar with circa 15 kills of beer from breweries across the U.K.  such as Mallinson’s, Brass Castle, Vocation, Tiny Rebel, Pig & Porter to name but a few.  A cider bar that will have ciders sourced from local producers.

 

 

Camra Calling!?

Did you hear us?

Using a new bit of kit we sent out a new newsletter out to all our members to keep them up to date with some of the activities within the branch. It does seem that this may not have reached as many as intended. It may also have gone to some outside the branch! A bit random, but a work in progress.

While we sort this out, here’s a brief glimpse.

                                           Next Branch Meeting

When – Wednesday 2nd November, 18:00 – 19:00

Where -Derby Arms, Derby St, Manchester M8, UK

Come and contribute to the discussions. On the agenda this month – pub awards, GBG and the new newsletter

                                             Next MBCF Meeting

When – Saturday 22nd October, 14:00 – 17:00

Where – The Angel Pub, 6 Angel St, Manchester M4 4BQ, UK (map)

Manchester Beer & Cider Festival 2017 meeting. If you are interested why not come along and say hello?

 

                                           SOCIAL DIARY  

These are the current upcoming social events:

                                 Meet The Brewer event with Brightside Brewing Company

When – Tuesday  11th October 18:00 – 20:00

      Start – The Paramount, 33-35 Oxford St, Manchester M1 4BH

Wide range of Brightside Beers on offer

Inter-branch trip

                                                When – Saturday 15th October 12:30 – 19:00

                                   Start – Black Swan, Hollins Green, Warrington WA3

                   Start at Black Swan, 12.30 for lunch, then The Grocers, award-winning micro-pub at 13.45.

On to  1923 cafe/bar at Irlam Station in time for a drink before the 15.10 train to Church Inn Flixton at 15.20.

Option – walk to Flixton Con Club at Chassen Rd, then walk to Urmston (<2miles total)

Next get the train from Flixton to Urmston at 16.15 and Prairie Schooner. This modern pub has a bit of scran and a tune for us as well as cracking beer.

Train from Urmston to Deansgate at 17.20, half hourly service wil take us to complete the tour of 4 branches at The Knott, a many-time winner of awards.

Trains to Hollins Green are from Oxford Road, stopping at Deansgate at 12.18, arrives at Glazebrook Station at 12.36. It is a short walk down the road to the Black Swan. A return will cost £4.10.

Buses (First) 67/100 stopping outside. Buses can be used between the Swan, Grocers and Irlam Station.

                                                                     AB2C Crawl

                                                 When – Monday 24th October 18:00 – 22:00

Where Manchester

Details – 6pm Allotment,  6.45pm B Lounge,  7.30pm Waldorf,  8.15pm Grey Horse,    9pm Circus Tavern

 

                                            5th November     St. Helens Social

Connoisseur Brewery and St.Helen’s Pubs crawl

 

11th November Rochdale Beer Festival Social

Presentation of beer of the Left Bank Beer Festival to RammyCraft Brewery.

All LBBF volunteers and any first time branch event attendees will be entitled to a free pint at this event.

                           

If you have any suggestions for a new social event in the future please contact Margaret or Ann. All ideas welcome.

For more details about any of the above or to make a booking please contact our  Social Secretary on mcrcamrasocials@hotmail.com

 

 

 

CAMRA Discounts in the city

Did you know you can get a discount in many pubs on production of your current CAMRA membership card?

Show your CAMRA card at any of these pubs and enjoy your discount!

  • Albert Square Chop House, Manchester: 20% off cask ales.
  • Crown & Anchor, Cateaton Street, Manchester: 20% off cask ales.
  • Font, New Wakefield Street, Manchester: 25% off cask ales.
  • Lass O’Gowrie, Charles Street, Manchester: 50p off a pint and 20p off a half
  • Pie & Ale, The Hive, Lever St, Manchester: 10% off cask ale
  • Grey Horse, Portland Street, Manchester: 10% off cask ale
  • Salisbury, New Wakefield Street, Manchester: 50p off a pint and 20p off a half of cask ales
  • Town Hall Tavern, 20 Tib Lane,Manchester: 10% off cask ales
  • Turing Tap, Oxford Road, Manchester: 10% off cask ales
  • Waldorf, Gore Street, Manchester: 10% off cask ales

Are we missing any?  Let us know 

Save Ralph – Summary So Far

Campaigns don’t happen, or work overnight. It takes weeks, months and sometimes years to succeed or indeed fail. To help keep everyone up-to-date, however, here’s what’s happened so far with the campaign to save the Sir Ralph Abercromby on Bootle Street, Manchester

Sir Ralph Abercromby

9/9/15

Manchester City Council (MCC) considered a report concerning an emerging Strategic Regeneration Framework for Jackson’s Row, including the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub. This set out some background (including the land pooling arrangements between the Council, developers and land owners), and some objectives and principles.

It also included a statement that the Framework…

“does not determine the future of the existing buildings on the site, including the Sir Ralph Abercromby Public House. Any decision on these buildings will be made in the light of a full assessment of the approach adopted by a future development proposal, in the context of the relevant planning policies and Historic England guidance.”

2/12/15

MCC considered and approved the Jackson’s Row Strategic Development Framework. The document by then was showing a garden square public open space covering the area currently occupied by the pub.

MCC had received 5 comments on the original document, one from the tenant of the Sir Ralph, expressing concern over the possible loss of the pub, emphasizing its importance to the area and asking for it to be incorporated into the pub.

Another comment was made by Historic England stating that it did not think the Framework sufficiently assessed the individual significance of existing buildings or their contribution to the conservation area [Peter St and Deansgate], and that it provided only limited reference to the heritage appraisal. It felt that the document did not sufficiently set out the significance of the place, or provide a full understanding of the significance and character of the site and its context.

In response to these comments MCC stated that they did recognize the importance of food and drink outlets and that the developer is making arrangements to meet with the tenant of the Sir Ralph to discuss the scheme proposals as they are progressed.

In relation to HE’s comments, MCC felt it had taken the heritage appraisal into account and that the SRF makes clear the contribution of the value of the existing buildings in terms of their contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area will be carefully considered as part of emerging development options.

The decision notice published on this report states that further dialogue with business owner and Heritage England would continue as the redevelopment became more detailed.

17/12/15

MCC acknowledged receipt of a request by T&H CAMRA to nominate the Sir Ralph as an Asset of Community Value. Legally, the Council needed to determine this within 8 weeks, ie by 11th February 2016.

12/01/16

The Central Manchester Branch held its inaugural meeting taking over the administration of the pubs within the new boundaries. This included the Sir Ralph Abercromby. It was agreed between the 2 Branches that it would be best leaving the situation as was with MCC to save any confusion that this may cause with Council Officers.

22/2/16

MCC determined the ACV nomination and stated that the legal test in Section 88(1) of the Localism Act 2011 was not satisfied and the Sir Ralph pub is not land of community value. The key reasons given were that:

  1. The building is due for demolition under a development scheme and therefore it is not realistic to think that its current use can continue: and
  2. The building is subject to a binding contract for sale, which would be an exempt disposal under the Localism Act 2011.

When the decision was announced the Chair of the Central Manchester Branch (Graham Donning) sought advice from CAMRA head quarters as to what was the best approach for the future and also sought a meeting with the 3 Ward Councilors Peel, Knowles & Davies. Advice from CAMRA HQ was that there was currently no right of appeal against the decision made by MCC and that seeking a judicial review whilst possible was very expensive. Further advice was that we should consider submitting a new Nomination for an ACV for the Sir Ralph.

1/3/16

A Change.org petition was launched by John O’Donnell (T&H Chair). This now (17/04/16) has over 2,500 signatures including one from Jonathan Schofield, a well know Historian and local blogger who commented:

“Landmarks that go to the heart of what makes this city should be preserved. Especially landmarks that are useful and add variety to the life of the city. The Abercromby is more though than that. It is a rare remaining Georgian building, along with the Friends Meeting House, in the area. More importantly, again with the Friends Meeting House, it is the last witness of the Peterloo Massacre. This was an epoch changing event in 1819 and a vital stepping stone to full British democracy. To demolish it would be short-sighted and morally wrong. It would be embarrassing for a city as ambitious as Manchester.”
Jonathan Schofield, Stretford, United Kingdom

17/03/16

The meeting with the 3 Ward Cllrs was held on the 17th March with Mike Chistodoulou (Landlord of the SRA) present along with Graham Donning and Tim Field. Cllr Peel could not attend due to other meetings but sent a message of support. The Cllrs were surprised that MCC had rejected the ACV ion the basis that the SRA was die for demolition as they had not been consulted as Ward Cllrs nor seen any proposals for planning permission for demolition. They were going to ask the MCC Solicitor for background information and why this decision was made. They also suggested that then publicity campaign was the best way forward and they would try and seek a meeting between all interested parties and the developers to discuss possible alternatives to the demolition of the SRA.

After the meeting Graham Donning made contact with various reporters submitting documents to them to support the case for saving the pub.

1/04/16

As nothing had been heard from local Cllrs and on the advice from CAMRA HQ Central Manchester CAMRA submitted a fresh ACV application. The advice was to use the following wording in the pre-amble to the nomination:
In nominating the Sir Ralph Abercromby public house as an Asset of Community Value, we are of course well aware of the Council’s decision dated 3 February 2016 not to accept our previous nomination of this building. However, we are not convinced that the reasons given for declining to register the land as being of community value were reasonable or justifiable. We would therefore hope and expect that this further nomination will be considered in the light of the following comments.

The decision notice states that it is not realistic to think that there can continue to be non-ancillary use of the pub because it is in an area earmarked for regeneration under the Jackson’s Row Strategic Regeneration Framework (SRF). However, our understanding of SRFs is that they are used to establish a vision, core priorities and key objectives within which regeneration effort in an area can respond strategically. They do not in themselves grant planning permission so any development of the pub site would still require such permission. In other words, it would be premature to conclude that permission to redevelop the pub site would be forthcoming and that up and until any such decision is made a nomination to register the property as an ACV is entirely legitimate.

The decision notice also mentioned that Enterprise Inns had entered into a contract for sale of the pub. Our understanding is that this sale has not been concluded. So, if any sale does occur then any ACV would apply to them, not Enterprise. We accept, of course, that the new owners are not likely to put the property up for sale in the near future (though that is by no means impossible) but ACV status would mean that the planning restrictions imposed by recent legislation would apply to the pub. This would, for instance, mean that demolition of the pub could not take place without planning permission first being obtained. ACV status would also be a material consideration for planning purposes.

This was initially rejected by the MCC Solicitor on the basis that the pub had been sold but we had not provided information as to whom. MCC were advised that it was they who had stated, in the reasons for rejection of the original ACV, the pub had been sold and sent copies of the Land Registry search that showed Enterprise had entered into an ‘Agreement for sale’ dated 25 August 2015 had been made between Enterprise Inns PLC and Jacksons Row Developments Limited.

13/04/2016

On the 13th April MCC accepted the Nomination and stated it would be decided on by 6th June 2016. Additionally Central Manchester received contact from the Manchester Evening News, BBC North West and Granada TV. The reason for this sudden interest was that reporters believed that the submission of a planning application for demolition of the SRA was imminent. An article appeared online on the evening of the 13th and in the paper on 14th April.

The Chair of Central Manchester Branch was interviewed on Friday 16th April and it is hoped may appear on Granada Report’s evening broadcast on TV on Monday 18th April. BBC North West have also expressed interest in an interview but no contact has been made.

Revitalisation Project

Revitalisation ProjectThroughout its 45 year history CAMRA has seen many changes, some think there have been too many, others think there haven’t been enough.

The campaign is now taking a good, long, hard look at itself and asking “Do we need to change?” But it’s not just asking itself, it’s asking everyone!

So now’s the time to make yourself heard. Whether you’re a CAMRA member or not, your opinion matters!

Have a read of the Consultation Booklet, and take the survey, and make your voice count in what could well be the biggest change within CAMRA.

Sir Ralph Abercromby Saved

The Sir Ralph is saved from Neville’s Bulldozers

 

The historic pub has been spared demolition in Neville’s redesigned plans for the St Michael’s development.

The news comes a few months after Gary Neville asked to put the plans on hold due to ‘public outcry’ and admitting that the original plans were flawed.  The latest proposals will keep the Sir Ralph, which dates back to the time of the Peterloo massacre, as well as the historic facade of the Bootle St. Police station.

You can read the full article on the Manchester Evening News website: greater-manchester-news/sir-ralph-abercromby-pub-saved-13316813