Save the Firgrove 4

If you tolerate this, then your children will be nextBride Hall (who also own the Tumbledown site) have now applied for planning to demolish the shops and flats at Firgrove Parade, Farnborough, to be replaced by an 80 bed budget hotel (A Premier Inn – Farnborough already has one in Southwood, and there are 600 Premier Inns in the country. There is a new and rather ugly Travelodge just 50 yards from this site) with a large Beefeater Restaurant below, flats & retail units. This development will also see the loss of the last remaining green space in the town centre with 12 trees next to the parade, which despite having covenants to protect it, is being given up by Rushmoor Borough Council to enable Bride Hall to proceed with this development and will be lost.

It is VERY important that any objections submitted to this scheme are based on actual planning reasons, rather than just disagreeing with it. We have put together what we think are suitable grounds for objections.

This is extremely urgent  as the closing date for objections to the  Firgrove Parade development plan is Tuesday 19th March, 2013.

What Can I Do to Help?

Email an objection to Rushmoor Borough Council

We will only ask you to object to this application and the one for the Tumbly (when it comes up)

PLEASE EMAIL YOUR OBJECTION to [email protected]

We recommend that you copy and paste the text below.

Please include your name and address on your email.


If you want, you can also add (cc) [email protected] and request that your objection goes before their committee

The 2 deals are tied together, so blocking this is important!

Copy & paste this bit into your email

Objections to Planning ref: 13/00024/FULPP

Objection 1 – Like for like amenities

The strategic planning documents for Rushmoor (the Rushmoor core strategy) state that the regeneration of the town buildings need to be replaced with buildings of like for like amenities.

Firgrove is currently:

A1 (shops & retail outlets)
A3 (food & drink)
C3 (residential)

The proposed development is:

C1 (hotels, boardings and guest houses)
A1 (shops & retail outlets)
A3 (food & drink)
A4 (drinking establishments)

Objection 2 – Previous granted planning applications

Planning application (ref#00/00695/FUL granted 24th April 2002) contains caveats that include:
“protecting the trees in the interest of the health of the trees and the visual amenity of the area
“to protect the visual amenities of the street scene and the character and appearance of the area”
“to protect the amenities of surrounding residential properties and other occupiers”
“to ensure that materials harmonise with the surrounding buildings and environment”
“to ensure that existing trees are adequately protected in the interests of the visual amenities of the site and the locality in general.”

This precedent in 2002 placed the caveats to protect the aesthetic of the area and ensure that sufficient care was taken to protect the visual amenity of the area. This precedent has not been taken into account in the new proposals by Bride Hall which are severely lacking in visual aesthetic and amenities and are not harmonised with the surrounding buildings.

Objection 3 – parking

The proposed development lists 20 public parking spaces for a development that is significantly greater than this. The developers reasoning for lack of parking provision is that it’s OK to use other paid for parking in the vicinity of the development.

The current parking provision in the proposed planning documents allocates 14 residential car parking spaces, 13 retail spaces, 7 allocated hotel parking spaces. For a development of this size, there will be a lot of displaced parking, onto the Kingsmead surface car park (aka Sainbury’s car park) which will have a commercial impact upon Sainsbury’s and other retailer with customers being unable to park within easy access. this will impact upon the town’s development as a whole.

Objection 4 – Local Highway Network

The developer claims that:

“the development will not have a significant impact upon the local highway network”

However, since Sainburys opened up there has been significant growth in traffic that are single destination journeys and with the proposed usage of hotel and restaurant, this will increase significantly those traffic with regards to singal journey traffic and on already at capacity junctions, namely the a325 Clockhouse roundabout and the junction of Victoria Road and Kingsmead junction traffic lights.

There are also no provisions for disabled parking.

There is no mention of the current capacity used by the existing serviced apartments.
13/00024/FULPP | Demolition and redevelopment of properties at 1-5 Firgrove Parade

Objection 5

Loss of Green Space – this development will see the loss of one of the last remaining green spaces in the town centre after the removal of covenants protecting it. The purported planting contained within the plan is by no way comparable to the size and density of the current green space.

Five Years On, Still no Tumbledown

The Tumble Down Dick, FarnboroughOn this day, five years ago, I popped out, at around tea time, to get dinner for my family.

As I stood in Farnborough Kebab and Burger (FKB) waiting for a large doner, a chicken burger, chips and salad, I glanced across the Farnborough Road and thought something was amiss. The Tumble Down Dick, the pub I’d occasionally frequented over a period of twenty years, was eerily dark. Continue reading

The Tumbly: An Asset of Community Value

The Tumble Down Dick, Farnborough - Now officially recognised as an Asset of Community Value

Update: The Tumbly is now the FIRST ever building in Rushmoor to be accepted as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) following nomination by the The Friends of the Tumble Down Dick. This is a new term from the Localism Bill which means that if the building does go up for sale, The Friends of the Tumbledown (a community group) will automatically be given a ‘right to bid’ on it and be given six months to raise the funds to buy the building… Continue reading

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

Decision from English Heritage

Dear Supporters
We are sad to announce that English Heritage have declined to list the Tumbledown at this stage.

Their grounds for rejecting our application appears to be solely based on information gleaned from the Turley Associates report commissioned by the Council.

We must remain steadfast in our conviction to save this wonderful heritage building. To this end we will be lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Our appeal will be based on substantive grounds with significant evidence that English Heritage have not included in their findings, they appear to have relied solely on the information supplied by Turley Associates, with no on-site visit or archaeological investigations.

The Tumbledown Dick is a significant public house with a wealth of important historical connections that we are hoping will be protected on appeal. It is worth noting that English Heritage rarely list Public Houses due to the huge number of them and will only do so, in very special cases.

In any event, whatever the outcome, Friends of the Tumbledown Dick will be fighting to save this historic building which has been present in Farnborough for centuries. We will be continuing our fight to save the building from demolition or redevelopment by McDonald’s. We have applied to the Council to nominate the building as an Asset of Community Value and we hope to enact our Right to Bid on the building under the terms of the Localism Act. This work will continue irrespective of the English Heritage aspect.

Friends of the Tumbledown Dick

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.

Turley Associates, McDonalds & Rushmoor Borough Council

Turley Associates, who have a long and successful track record working with major companies in redevelopment, were chosen as an “independent assessor” to conduct a Heritage Assessment on the Tumbledown Dick by Rushmoor Borough Council.

It should be noted that Turley Associates have also been used on numerous occasions by McDonalds.

Here is a selection of some of the work Turley have conducted for McDonalds.

  1. Proposed skypole signage at McDonald’s Restaurant, Linkwood Place, Linkwood Industrial Estate, Elgin, Moray, IV30 1HZ
  2. Display of an internally illuminated gantry sign at McDonalds, Fife Leisure Park, Dunfermline, Fife
  3. Erection of restaurant with drive through and take-away facilities | 6 Straiton Mains Pentland Retail Park Straiton Loanhead Midlothian
  4. Display of 5 roof signs and 1 wall sign and 4 freestanding signboards all internally illuminated at McDonalds, Fife Leisure Park, Dunfermline, Fife
  5. Erection of drive-thru restaurant – amendment of application, Braes Shopping Centre Castlemilk Arcade Glasgow
  6. Display of one internally illuminated sky pole sign, Braes Shopping Centre, Castlemilk Arcade, Glasgow

Friends Of The Tumbledown Dick release their own Heritage Assessment report


Read the FTTD Heritage Assessment Report here.

Further to the commissioning of a Heritage Assessment report by RBC undertaken by

The Tumbledown Dick 1922

The Tumbledown Dick 1922

Turley Associates, we as a Community group, believe it to be a fundamentally flawed and poorly researched document missing significant evidence of the historical and architectural importance and value of this treasured asset to Farnborough.

It would be a tragedy for Rushmoor Council to allow just this evidence alone to sway opinion on the future of this building once the planning application is submitted by McDonald’s. As you may know, we as a campaign have submitted our own application for listing to English Heritage and we believe the outcome of this should have been awaited, rather than the Council pre-empting this by commissioning their own report, this is very unusual.

In the meantime, as a response to the Turley report, we have felt it necessary to publish our own Heritage Assessment Report findings. Please find attached our report which has been written without the benefit of access to the building, but nonetheless, you will see that a huge amount of research has been undertaken in libraries, museums and online. All this information is in the public domain and we are most surprised that Turley Associates overlooked nearly all of it.

The Tumbledown Dick 1782

The original of this painting (1782) was copied for an article in the The Graphic, Illustrated London News in 1891 and was edited to remove “offensive” material (a man who is probably the driver to the left of the image)

You may be aware that The Farnborough Society requested that the Tumbly be added to their proposed list of ‘Buildings of Local Importance’  but for some reason it never made the final list or any comment whatsoever passed on it, despite the TFS querying this, it being one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough and it being a Hampshire Treasure as stated in Hampshire Treasures Vol 3.

In the event there is any confusion or misunderstanding, let us clarify that Friends of the Tumbledown Dick has been formed as a Community Interest Group in order to enact our right to bid under the Localism Act to save a local treasured building for community use. We hope to obtain listing status of the building following our own application to English Heritage who are reviewing it now. We will also be submitting our report attached to English Heritage. We wish to see off the McDonald’s bid and we have significant local population support for our campaign plus of course considerable press interest. We wish to acquire the building and if we are able to use our ‘right to bid’ we will be granted 6 months leeway to fund raise in order to buy the building, following a new district valuer valuation of the existing bricks and mortar value of the site. Please note, it is our view that McDonald’s are offering to pay significantly more than the value of the site due to what they consider future value of the cinema complex and as they are intending to increase the boundaries of the site to accommodate their drive-thru, neither of which will be part of our future needs and will not be a factor in any new valuation.

Also the BBC have taken an interest in our campaign and have started filming from the last demo we did and will be airing a documentary on Inside Out show in February about our campaign.

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 !.