Further protection for borough pubs

Published: Friday 26th June 15

More than a hundred borough pubs are expected to get extra protection to help keep them at the heart of their communities.

The Railway, Putney

‘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 Country House, Southfields

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.

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.

They include The Alma, The Ship and The Cat’s Back in Wandsworth, The Bricklayers Arms, Arab Boy and Railway in Putney, The Plough and The Beehive in Battersea and The Selkirk, Trafalgar Arms and Wheatsheaf in Tooting.

Some pubs that are currently closed would get protection, including the White Lion in Putney High Street and The Brewery Tap in Wandsworth High Street.

The King's Head, Tooting

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.”

Read the committee report.

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Recent comments

The Prince of Wales on the corner of Battersea Bridge Road and Surrey Lane has been closed for 18 months. This pub was run down and closed and apparently was going to be a Tesco. What is happening ? why can't it open up as a pub again ?
Constantine Benckendorff

29 June 2015

Please please get the address right - The Country House is 2-4 Groton Rd EARLSFIELD sw18 4ep.........Thankyou
Chris Pavey

27 June 2015

I would love to see this idea extended to convenience shops of community value. There is a shop near me on Burntwood lane that has been empty for years, presumably with some view to a future application for change of use. However there are no other shops around for some distance and it would be lovely to see any attempt at all to lease it out and at least give some business a chance to make it work.
Lucy Evans

26 June 2015

On this subject what is happening with the pub on the corner of Battersea Bridge Road and Surrey Lane. It was going to be a Tesco convenience store which many local inhabitants objected to and presumably in their present situation are no longer planning to do this . It has been covered in posters and Bill boards and is a complete eyesore. It is in a very prominent position and is a disgrace to the area .
Jessica Dickinson

26 June 2015