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Pub regulars bid to save The Good Intent, Rochester, from demolition by making it asset of community value

Pub regulars have joined forces to save it from the bulldozers.

Plans have been submitted to demolish The Good Intent, Rochester, to make way for a terrace of nine homes.

But scores of customers have launched a campaign to make it an asset of community value preventing any development of the John Street establishment.

Mel Barnett campaigning to save her local pub (12766010)
Mel Barnett campaigning to save her local pub (12766010)

More than 150 letters of objection have also been sent to the council.

Leading the battle is Mel Barnett, whose Morris dancing group has met there for the last 16 years.

The mum-of three said: “We feel passionate about our pub. It is our social life. It may be a back street pub in the middle of a housing estate, but there are not many places you can get live entertainment and take the whole family around here.”

She is a member of the Wolf’s Head and Vixen side which has won numerous competition in Rochester’s Sweeps Festival.

She said: “The Sweeps is the biggest event of its kind in the UK and the Good Intent is known as the pub where we all come. It’s where the after-festival party is held and meeting place for Morris sides from all over the country.”

The Good Intent, John Street, Rochester
The Good Intent, John Street, Rochester

It is well respected as a folk and acoustic music venue with live acts from all over the county performing regularly.

A bridge club, open mic, fancy dress themed parties, poetry and book readings are also held there.

Mrs Barnett, 46, of Gravesend Road, Strood, said: “The brewery are saying it’s not viable which I really don’t understand. There something on virtually every night and it’s usually full.

“The pub is part of the community. We don’t want more houses here. We don’t have the roads and schools to support more development. We shall fight this to the end and if need be take over the running of the pub ourselves.”

Several attempts were made to contact landlady Karen Woebley, who posted on social media on June 4: “Heads up lovely peeps, contrary to public misinformation it’s business as usual at The Good Intent Rochester for the foreseeable future.”

By nominating the pub as asset of community value it gives the council reasons to reject a planning proposal.

It gives the community the opportunity to bid for the property if it is sold or leased for 25 years or more. A local authority has eight weeks in which to decide whether to approve or reject a nomination.

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