News & Events

Response to Questions on Funds

On Facebook the other day (13th November 17:42)  Rushmoor’s Empress Ward Councillor David Clifford, made a statement asking the following questions:

I would be very interested to know how much the group has raised from the public and what you intend to do with the money? Would you be interested in investing in a live music venue in Farnborough elsewhere in the town? Who are the members of the committee that look after the funds?

I made a statement on behalf of the Friends of the Tumbledown Dick, stating the following: Continue reading

McDonald’s Planning Granted

On Wednesday 9th October 2013, the planning application by McDonald’s to turn the  Tumbledown Dick pub into a fast food outlet was looked at by Rushmoor Borough Council’s Development Control Committee. RBC’s planning department advised that the plans be granted. The DCC discussed the plans and, after nearly an hour of mixed statements from councillors on the committee, the planning application was indeed granted by 7 votes to 3 as some of the valid material planning objections were seemingly swept aside as being almost irrelevant.

Without commenting, here is the video of the meeting:

The Tumbledown: Officially a Building of Local Importance

The Tumbledown Dick - Building of Local Importance

The Tumbledown Dick – Building of Local Importance

Yesterday afternoon Rushmoor Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the Tumbledown Dick to be added to the list of “Buildings of Local Importance”.

Our Chairperson, Fran Beauchamp, has issued the following statement:

“On behalf of Friends of the Tumbledown Dick, I would like to thank RBC’s Cabinet and Keith Holland of Planning for today approving The Tumbledown Dick for the Local List of buildings of importance. This is an important and long overdue acknowledgement of how important this building is to local people and means that it becomes a material planning consideration for any present or future owner wishing to make significant changes to it. Our community group has worked tirelessly to save this building from destruction and we can only hope that we will be finally given the opportunity to enact our ‘right to bid’. A good day Rushmoor!”

“To be listed locally, a building must meet only 1 of the criteria laid out in the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The report provided to the Cabinet from their Head of Planning and the Historic Buildings Officer, highlights that the Tumbledown Dick meets a minimum of 4 of the criteria needed for local listing. Although it is sad that the building did not meet the high standard of criteria for National Listing it is apparent to all that the building and site are an intrinsic part of the fabric and history of Farnborough and more than sufficient to meet local listing requirements, it is just unfortunate that it had not been afforded this protection previously.”

“This is by no means the end of our fight to protect The Tumbledown Dick as Bride Hall, the current owners, have enacted their right to have the Asset of Community Value listing reviewed. This means that the Council now need to review the process and the decision to ensure it was appropriate and Friends of the Tumbledown will be submitting evidence in support of the listing in the next few days. We look forward to also seeing the evidence provided by Bride Hall, a national property developer based in Mayfair, as to why they do not feel that this building is an Asset of Community Value for Farnborough and local people who are fighting to protect it.”

“Friends of the Tumbledown would like to thank the public for their continued support in our campaign, in the face of much adversity. We believe that local people have made a difference in changing the agenda for planning issues in Farnborough and if nothing else, we have proven that the community working together can achieve supportive and fantastic change. We only hope that Rushmoor Borough Council continue to support ours and all community groups going forward as this is absolutely imperative in the overall success of what we want to achieve for the benefit of the community.”

“Finally, we now have in excess of 4,407 signatures on our petition, this is a significant public mandate for our community group aims.”

The Tumbly in the News Again

The Tumble Down Dick, FarnboroughEver since the Tumble Down Dick closed in February 2008 there have been numerous mentions of the Tumbly in the news and media.

Today, Get Hampshire, the online version of the local Farnborough News (And all local News Group local papers for Aldershot, Camberley and Fleet), published the story “Listed building blow for Tumbledown Dick battle” regarding the English Heritage decision not to list the Tumble Down Dick. Continue reading

To local people, the campaign to save the Tumbledown has become something bigger…

To local people, the campaign to save the Tumbledown has become something bigger, a test if you like of our officials.. a test of integrity and courage and whether our elected council members are prepared to truly represent the views of the people or just oversee the planning for big business as it sees a problem building solved and another large corporate in our town.

BBC Radio Surrey coverage

Early this morning (2nd Jan 2013), Fran Beauchamp was interviewed by BBC Surrey.

You can listen to the interview on BBC Radio Surrey here :
BBC Sussex – Danny Pyke  (2nd Jan 2013).

The BBC will only allow you to listen until they take it off-line on the 9th Jan.

Please forward through to 2hrs 09mins to hear Andrew Lloyd’s pre-recorded interview followed by Fran’s live response.

Enjoy !.


Friends of the Tumbly release their Press Statement

The following Press Release was sent to the National Press:

30 Nov 2012

The Tumbledown Dick is a pub and music venue in Farnborough, Hants. But not just any old pub.. it is a 300 year old heritage building that dates back to the early 1600’s from the era of horse and carriages and highwaymen when it was a Coaching Inn on the barren road between Portsmouth and London. This building pre-dates nearly all of Farnborough and the town slowly built up around it. This is therefore a treasured site for our town. However just come and see the condition it has been allowed to fall in? With weeds growing from it and shutters across the windows it seems a scandal does it not that the building has never been Listed and is not even on the local Council’s ‘Buildings of Local Importance’ list affording it no protection whatsoever!

‘Friends of the Tumbledown Dick’ was formed in October 2012 following the closure of the pub some years earlier in 2008 to save it from its growing dereliction. It is our aim to make the local community aware of the historical value of this building and we also wish to acquire the building ourselves using the new legislation of the Localism Act as a Community Group to restore it and return it into use as a dedicated music venue, pub and community arts centre. However as a final injustice we have recently discovered that the present owners (a commercial property developers called Bride Hall) have entered into an agreement to sell it to McDonald’s Restaurants, subject to planning, who want to demolish it and build a ‘supersize’ 2-storey drive-thru instead. We already have a major McDonald’s drive-thru and restaurant only a mile up the road from the Tumbledown site called Farnborough Gate and now this one is also set to be extended to a new supersized 2 storey drive-thru. The health impact of having so many take-away and fast food outlets in one town is obvious and is already impacting local health services.

We have started talks with the Council, which on the face of it seemed helpful and encouraging, but having carried out Freedom of Information requests with the Council we have discovered the real extent of the relationships between McDonald’s, Bride Hall and the Council and very cosy it is too. We have seen the full pre-application plans were submitted to the Council in April to show the demolition of the Tumbledown despite our campaign, we were never informed of this.

Bride Hall also own another piece of prime real estate next to the Tumbledown called Firgrove Parade which currently has 5 independent retailers with flats above and parking right outside. This is also being sold off by Bride Hall to Whitbread to build a huge Premier Inn budget hotel with a Beefeater restaurant below, thereby demolishing the independent retailer units. This would take the total number of large hotels in Farnborough to 7, the most recent of which includes a Travellodge and Weatherspoons within spitting distance of Firgrove, which is severely under-occupancy most days of the week. Why the demand for another large hotel (on a key site) we cannot fathom?

Finally Bride Hall’s Chairman Mr Danny Desmond, is on the rich list in this country, reportedly worth £90 million. His sons now run the business however their shares are in trust in Bermuda. As a consequence Bride Hall pay virtually no Corporation Tax in the UK. The main benefactors of both these morally questionable property deals will infact be Bride Hall, non UK tax payers… the people of Farnborough however stand to lose a once grand heritage building, an evening culture and have a skyline of yet more ugly buildings at the gateway to the town that are of little actual benefit to local people, plus many local independent traders will lose their business. How is this in the best interests of our community?

Tumbly makes front page news again

This article is in today’s Farnborough News & Mail.

Our campaign team have carried out an extensive Freedom of Information (FOI) request of Rushmoor Borough Council and have seen the pre-application plans submitted by McDonald’s for a large 2-storey drive-thru with a 12 metre golden arches sign above it… both entrance and exits to be on to the Farnborough Road..

Farnborough doesn’t want or need this !!

Come to our demo on Saturday 1st December 2012 at 1pm and sign our petition. (available online or at the demo)

We cannot stand by and watch McDonald’s and property developers steal our heritage this is a disgrace!!