Restored historic pub back in business
Published: Tuesday 27th November 12
The King’s Head pub in Roehampton has reopened its doors to customers in what is being highlighted as a major success in efforts to protect historic local buildings at risk.
The Grade II Listed pub, which dates back to the 17th Century, is once again a thriving local business attracting visitors to Roehampton and contributing to the area's regeneration, following efforts by the council, property developer St James and Young's Brewery to give it a new lease of life.
Without this private sector investment and the council's determination to protect this important listed building, resist inappropriate development and encourage sympathetic refurbishment plans, this historic and much loved local pub could have been lost to the community forever.
The pub faced imminent danger when its former owners closed its doors in 2006 and boarded up the building. Among widely held concerns were the risks of it being squatted or falling victim to arson. Indeed shortly after it closed, thieves broke in and stole copper piping from its central heating system.
The council put pressure on the owner to beef up security while staff in the planning department's conservation team began actively monitoring the site to ensure no further damage was caused.
The council was also determined to resist redevelopment proposals that would have harmed the listed building and have a negative impact on the surrounding Roehampton Village conservation area.
In February 2007 the council refused planning permission for a scheme that would have turned the pub into residential units, along with a separate block of flats built in its garden.
And it refused a second application in June 2008 when developers wanted to provide seven flats within the pub and four large houses in the garden.
A subsequent planning application from developer St James, which was approved in 2010, paved the way for the pub to be fully refurbished and extended, with some residential units provided in its adjacent coach house.
Refurbishment work began earlier this year and in partnership with Young's, the King's Head recently reopened its doors and is now attracting customers from across the borough who want to enjoy good beers in a high quality food-based pub with a garden.
Planning chairman Cllr Nick Cuff said: "This is a great success story for Roehampton. One of its oldest and most attractive listed buildings has been brought back into community use having lain empty and semi-derelict for a number of years.
"It is now a thriving business that has brought new jobs and investment to the area and is playing an important role in the wider regeneration of Roehampton. Bringing this vacant building back into use has removed a serious blight from the high street and given it a real lift.
"This success would not have been possible without the valuable investment from St James and Young's, who shared our vision that the King's Head could be restored as an attractive and profitable local pub.
"It is also a vindication of our planning policies that meant we were able to turn down inappropriate applications for this site which would not have delivered these wider community benefits."