The Tumbledown Dick public house has been closed since 2008. The land, which is in private ownership, has been identified in the Farnborough Town Centre Prospectus as a site suitable for re-use or redevelopment. This could be through re-using existing buildings on the site or by new buildings.
We are keen to see the site brought back into use as it is an important part of the overall regeneration of Farnborough. However, it is up to the owners or those with other interests in the site to make proposals for how their land might be developed. This is usually through the submission of a planning application, although pre-application discussion often take place between an applicant and the council before an application is submitted.
Interest in the Tumbledown Dick
The site of the Tumbledown Dick is currently the subject of considerable interest because of proposals to use the site for a fast-food restaurant. No planning application has been received yet, but some local people are concerned about the proposals, as they would like to see the building preserved and refurbished.
Those who support the retention of the building have suggested that it is of significant age and should be considered for inclusion on English Heritage’s statutory list of buildings of architectural or historic interest, which would give it ‘listed’ status.
English Heritage’s assessment
At the request of local campaigners, English Heritage assessed the Tumbledown Dick for listing, but concluded that from the evidence available, it lacked the special architectural and historical interest required to qualify for listing. For more details, see the English Heritage assessment report [57kb], published on 11 January 2013.
Independent consultant’s report
So that we could get an impartial and expert view on the history, age and interest of the existing building, we commissioned Turley Associates, a consultancy with expertise in the field of historic buildings, to carry out research and an inspection of the building, to report their findings and to assess the building against the criteria used by English Heritage when considering if a building is worthy of listing. This report would be used as supporting information if the council receives a planning application alongside any other information we receive as part of the application process.
You can view the consultant’s report [911kb].
We also made a copy of the report available to English Heritage.
Friends of the Tumbledown Dick heritage report
The Friends of the Tumbledown Dick, who are campaigning for the retention of the building, have issued their own heritage report, which you can read on the Friends of the Tumbledown Dick website.
We have not received a planning application, although there have been some pre-application discussions with the site owners and McDonald’s. Some local people who support retention of the Tumbledown Dick have suggested that we are already supporting its demolition. This is not the case. If an application is received, there will be a period of public consultation.
Residents can find out more about this by viewing our How we decide planning applications page. It is only after the period of consultation that planning officers will make their recommendations to the Development Control Committee. The councillors on this committee will make the final decision on any planning application, taking account of national and local planning policies as well as comments received from the public.