Planning inspector orders developer to rebuild pub 'brick by brick'

A developer that demolished a London pub without planning permission has been ordered to rebuild it 'brick by brick' by a planning inspector.

The Carlton Tavern (pic Ewan Munro via flickr)
The Carlton Tavern (pic Ewan Munro via flickr)

In January 2015, Westminster City Council refused an application by developer CLTX Ltd to demolish the Carlton Tavern pub, in Kilburn, north London, and replace it with ten flats and a ground floor commercial unit.

However, in April 2015, the applicant went ahead and demolished the building, which was built in 1921.

According to the council, the developer gave no prior warning of the demolition and there were no proper health and safety procedures in place. 

At a planning committee meeting in May 2015, the council decided to issue an enforcement notice against the developer to rebuild the pub within 18 months.

It also requires the developer to rebuild the pub "brick by brick", as close to the original as possible.

The developer appealed against both the enforcement notice and the refusal of permission at a public inquiry hearing heard in May.

On Friday, the planning inspector Graham Dudley backed the council by dismissing both appeals.

Dudley described the building as a "rare public house" and said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport told him it was "highly likely" that the pub would have been listed,

He said there would be "substantial benefit in the [pub’s] reconstruction on historical grounds", adding that he saw "no reason … why a detailed and accurate reconstruction could not be undertaken".

The inspector gave CLTX two years to rebuild the pub, extending the enforcement notice’s deadline from 18 months.

According to his report, the Carlton Tavern was also listed as an asset of community value after its demolition.

The inspector said the building's "historical association, past usage, layout of the spaces, character and appearance ... has considerable importance for the community".

Robert Davis, Westminster Council’s cabinet member for the built environment, said: "This sends a clear message to developers across the country that they cannot ride roughshod over the views of local communities.

"Westminster City Council has stood side by side with residents to demand that the Carton Tavern should be rebuilt brick by brick.

"I look forward to seeing the Carlton Tavern turned back into a thriving community pub."

The developers’ agents KR Planning were contacted for comment, but had not responded at the time of publication.

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