Winkers to be de­mol­ished

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

WINKERS night­club in Chal­font St Peter is set close its doors for good, it was con­firmed at a meet­ing last week.

Chiltern District Coun­cil­lors voted unan­i­mously in favour of de­mol­ish­ing the build­ing – which sits on the green belt – to make way for four two storey-homes.

The out­line ap­pli­ca­tion from own­ers Mr and Mrs May­nard con­cerns the ac­cess roads, with a fur­ther de­tailed ap­pli­ca­tion con­cern­ing fu­ture de­vel­op­ments ex­pected soon.

It comes de­spite Chiltern District Coun­cil (CDC) twice re­ject­ing larger plans, sub­mit­ted by Kebbell De­vel­op­ment, to re­de­velop the site on Den­ham Lane in 2014.

An

ap­peal,

made fol­low­ing the re­fusal from CDC, was thrown out by the govern­ment in­spec­tor in Fe­bru­ary last year, who cited in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ment in the green belt as some­thing which could ‘harm the char­ac­ter and ap­pear­ance of the area and would be con­trary to the rel­e­vant poli­cies in the de­vel­op­ment plan’.

The club, opened in 1971, has seen a drop in lo­cal sup­port, ac­cord­ing to district coun­cil­lor Jonathan Rush.

“My kids used to use Winkers. It’s sad, be­cause in its hey­day it was a lo­cal as­set. It hasn’t been prof­itable for a long time, and nearly 80% of peo­ple who use it th­ese days don’t come from the area,” he said.

“If the lo­cal com­mu­nity sup­ported it, Winkers would prob­a­bly be prof­itable but we don’t and it isn’t.”

De­scrib­ing it as the ‘be­gin­ning of the end of a long saga’, Mr Rush said the ap­pli­ca­tion was suc­cess­ful this time be­cause it con­cerned a smaller area.

He said: “This is a much smaller scheme and there­fore the im­pact on the green belt will be less.”

Vil­lager Richard Allen has pre­vi­ously said it is ‘ut­terly ridi­clous’ for CDC to try and ‘force’ the own­ers to keep the club open, say­ing it makes sense for ‘busi­nesses that are not suc­cess­ful’ to be de­mol­ished to make way for hous­ing.

Is this a good move for Chal­font St Peter? Email our let­ters page at buck­snews@trin­i­tysouth. co.uk.

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