Community asset public house conversion to flats allowed

Seven flats and an office from a public house in a mixed use area of a south east London conservation area was allowed in part following enforcement, despite the public house being designated an asset of community value (ACV).

The main issues in the enforcement appeal related to the change of use of a locally listed pub and the design aspects of its conversion. The council had objected mainly to the design of the pub which included a new mansard roof and alterations to windows including upvc replacements. Local residents objected to the loss of the pub when it had been designated an ACV. The inspector considered the design issues and held that the new mansard roof was really only visible from the rear of the building and represented a modern addition that contributed positively to the character of the area, was still subservient to the main building and was low key. She held it did not harm the appearance or character of the conservation area.

Regarding the change of use, the inspector held the fact that the pub was an ACV did not confer any special requirements on the owner regarding sale and price. If it did stay as a pub, it could change to other retail uses using permitted development rights plus there were already nine other pubs in the same postcode district. She held that the ACV designation did not outweigh the positive benefits that the additonal housing and the security of a viable future for the heritage asset would provide.

The inspector upheld the enforcment appeal with regards the fenestration details, stating that the use of upvc windows in the main 19th century building was inappropriate and she imposed new conditions regarding their realignment and replacement.

Inspector: Katie Peerless; Written Representations

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