Demolished Pub Ordered to be Rebuilt
13 May 2015 by James Bird
Some of you may recall my previous blog about pubs and how in many ways they appear to be disappearing across the country. However one pub in particular it seems would hold a record for going from a working business to a pile of rubble.
The Carlton Tavern, a pub in Kilburn London, built in the 1920’s was known for being a historic building; so much so that a spokeswoman from Historic England (previously the English Heritage) told the Kilburn Times there had been plans to recommend the pub for a grade II listing pending approval from the Department for Culture Media and Sport. This listing would then have offered further levels of protection against any plans for development. However, it appears that this did not occur soon enough.
One day in early April the Landlady Patsy Lord had been told to close the pub for a day to do an inventory check. When she returned the next day, she had come back to only the remains of the building. The building and everything inside had been demolished, including the dart board, the widescreen TV and even a pint on a table. In the space of a day the pub had been demolished.
3 months before this incident, the owners (CLTX Ltd) had applied to the Westminster City Council for planning permission to develop the site by demolishing the pub and building a ground floor pub with 10 new flats above on the site. This was refused. However not only had CLTX been in breach of planning requirements but there had also been new legislation come into force two days before on the 6th April which offers more protection for buildings such as pubs which are deemed community assets. The nomination or listing of a pub as an asset of community value triggers the disapplication of the national permitted development rights for the change of use or demolition for the period of listing. This is protection which many have been seeking to safeguard their local pubs.
In light of what has happened, the council has ruled this week on the matter. CLTX have been fined £2,500 and served with an enforcement notice requiring a replica pub to be completely rebuilt in its place. John Walker, Westminster City Council director for planning, stated: “After careful consideration of the planning issues surrounding the unlawful demolition of Carlton Tavern, the planning committee has agreed an enforcement notice be issued requesting the building be rebuilt. The council will not tolerate any apparent flagrant disregard of the planning system.” Once the pub is rebuilt they will then look to obtaining the grade II listing as soon as possible.
This may be the first time that an enforcement notice like this has been served to rebuild an entire building but could certainly be seen as a warning to developers. Always make sure you have the required permissions as councils appear to be taking stricter action against those who don’t.