Save the Green Dragon: An Open Letter to Enfield Councillors
SAVE THE GREEN DRAGON
Open Letter to Mayor Patricia Ekechi and the elected Councillors of Enfield
The Save The Green Dragon campaign group and supporters have gathered at the Civic Centre today because we urgently need our voices to be heard regarding the recent rejection of the Asset of Community Value nomination for the Green Dragon, by decision makers in Enfield Council.
Enfield Council has stated that it is committed to involving the local community in local planning, yet has ignored the massive support that our campaign has received. The Save The Green Dragon petition has collected nearly 4,500 signatures, has had the cross-party unanimous support of Enfield councillors; businesses & residents in the immediate vicinity of the pub, local MPs and even Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
The Green Dragon site is an important local landmark, with a 300 year history (and the current building is 125 years old). It has for generations been the centre of the local community, used for weddings and functions, and by a wide range of local groups and sports clubs- that is, until it was taken over by the Orchid Group. The company’s lack of investment in, and poor management of the Green Dragon was the reason for the Dragon’s recent dilapidated state and poor turnover.
We strongly disagree with the Council’s decision - we feel it is clear that the Green Dragon Pub IS an Asset of Community Value, as demonstrated by the overwhelming support of this campaign to save it. The purpose of the legislation is to protect in situations such as this and we remain unconvinced that a pop up shop within a magnificent pub building such as this prevents it from ever being a pub again!
To our new Mayor and our elected Councillors, we ask you to respect the wishes of the local community that you serve, and support us in seeking to ensure that:-
- The ACV processes in relation to this application are reviewed with Enfield Councillors and Council officers to ensure that application of the Localism Act 2011 in this decision was consistent with the aims of the legislation, existing precedent and all applicable levels ofWe believe the legislation provides ample scope for Enfield Council to offer ACV protection for the Green Dragon. We refer you to Public Houses: How Councils and Communities Can Save Pubs (Published by CAMRA and LGiU, the Local Democracy Think Tank)
- There is a full and transparent investigation undertaken as to whether Green Dragon is realistically viable as a pub. This has NOT been done to date. We cannot rely on the assertions of the people who stand to profit from the development of this site to provide this information. The Public HouseViabilityTest sets out best practice guidance to be applied both in Government Planning and local planning authorities in determining the issue of "viability".
- That the new (as yet unregistered) owners of the Green Dragon, Green Lanes Investments (who have no connection with the local area) are encouraged to be open and honest with the community regarding their current and future intentions with regard to this site.
In reality, if we CAN achieve ACV status, there ARE companies who are in touch with our campaign who would consider providing the sizeable investment required to bring the Dragon back to its former glory as a pub, and it would also trigger a right to bid as a community to run it. The granting of ACV status is critical in allowing Enfield planning officers the opportunity to intervene on the community’s behalf in any future planning application brought forward for the site. It offers the opportunity to consider whether a 300 year old local tradition should be allowed to continue, and it is an opportunity for the Green Dragon to draw in the crowds and flourish, once more, in the heart of Green Lanes,Winchmore Hill.
With best regards
Sharon & Mike McClean
on behalf of the Save the Green Dragon Campaign
On the day that the new Mayor of Enfield Cllr Patricia Ekechi takes up her post, Sharon & Mike McClean founders of the Save The Green Dragon campaign write an open letter to Enfield Councillors to explain why it is imperative that they follow through their commitment to granting the Green Dragon Asset of Value application.