Giving further protection to keep pubs as pubs
More than a hundred pubs around the borough are expected to get extra protection to help keep them at the heart of their communities. There are 121 bars and pubs that have been identified as having historic or architectural value, that are in a conservation area or that make a positive contribution to their community.
Locally they include The Bricklayers Arms, Arab Boy and Railway in Putney & The Alma, The Ship and The Cat’s Back in Wandsworth.
‘Article 4 Directions’ have been proposed in the case of pubs and bars that have historic, architectural or community value.
This means owners would need to apply for permission before knocking them down or changing them into something else such as a supermarket or estate agent.
Currently, under ‘permitted development rights’, pub owners do not always need planning permission to demolish a pub or change its use. But Article 4 Directions remove permitted development rights, giving council planners a chance to decide whether or not to allow the changes.
The decision by councillors on the Community Services committee is expected to be ratified by the council’s Executive next week.
It comes just weeks after the council announced new planning guidelines to give planners stronger grounds to refuse planning applications to redevelop important local pubs.
Some pubs that are currently closed would get protection, including the White Lion in Putney High Street (pictured right) and The Brewery Tap in Wandsworth High Street.
The Article 4 Directions would be published in September and pub owners notified and given a chance to respond, enabling them to come into force in September 2016 .
Deputy council leader Jonathan Cook said:
“We cannot sit by and watch all our much-loved local pubs close, or become supermarkets or estate agents. We have come to the conclusion that the best way to protect them is Article 4 Directions alongside stronger planning guidelines. We hope by doing this we will keep our communities strong and vibrant and protect our common cultural and architectural heritage.”
The former White Lion
August 24, 2015