Public Houses in Hackney

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1 Public Houses in Hackney An Evidential Study authored by James Watson Pubs Preservation Officer East London & City Branch with assistance from Dale Ingram London Region Pubs Protection Adviser and CAMRA Planning Advisory Group

2 CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 3 2. THE PRESENT THREAT TO PUBS PUBS IN HACKNEY AN APPRAISAL FOCUS ON CLAPTON (E5) CASE STUDY THE CHESHAM ARMS PUB PROTECTION IN HACKNEY THE DATA ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Table 1: Pub losses in Borough of Hackney ( ) by postal area Figure 1: Fate of pubs in Borough of Hackney ( ) Figure 2: Pub numbers in Hackney postcode areas ( ) Figure 3: Pub count in all Hackney Wards ( ) Figure 4: Pub closure numbers across Borough of Hackney ( ) Figure 5: Current use of former pubs closed in Hackney since Figure 6: Current use of Former Pubs closed since 1983 (E5 area) Figure 7: Chesham Arms, 15 Mehetabel Road, E9 (2010)... 16

3 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 The British Public House is a national institution. From historic coaching inns and taverns, through to Georgian gin palaces and beer houses to the modern urban gastropubs and community 'locals', these vital facilities for refreshment and social intercourse are an essential component in the historical development and sustainability of our communities. Both their architecture and use are unique. Through literature and legend, many of them have achieved iconic status around the world. 1.2 The decline of the great British pub over the last decade has been well documented by several authors and is being tracked by CAMRA. The closure rate fluctuated with 18 pubs per week closing nationally at the end of 2012, down from a peak of 25 per week during Even more recent statistics from CAMRA's PubWatch report indicate that the number has risen again, alarmingly, in 2013 and is running at 24 per week. Perhaps counter-intuitively given its relative wealth, huge population and tourist traffic, London has reflected the national trend. During 2012 London suffered a net loss of 2 pubs per week The subject of pub closures is increasingly gaining media attention and the scale of the problem is finally becoming apparent both to local authorities and central government. In London, Assembly Member Steve O Connell issued a report on March 11 th Keeping Local to stimulate discussion within the Greater London Assembly and amongst the London Boroughs. 3 This was followed by a summit at City Hall on March 13 th 2013 on protecting London s pubs from closure, hosted by Assembly Member Tom Copley and organised by CAMRA. 1.4 Sustained campaigning by CAMRA and the robust work of the All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group under the chairmanship of Greg Mulholland MP has contributed to the recent scrapping of the beer duty escalator by the Chancellor. CAMRA's Fair Pint Campaign has also brought the issue of the 'Tied' business model of the major breweries and pub companies into the spotlight and the government has initiated a process to regulate the inherent unfairness of the 'tie' in order to secure a more level economic playing field for tenants and licensees. Both of these initiatives are intended to have a positive effect on pub numbers. The survival of pubs is an issue that is now firmly on the political agenda. The tables are slowly beginning to turn but there is much work left to do. 1.5 Local authorities do have the power to be a key line of defence in the protection of community pubs by: Implementing pub protection policies as part of their local plans Removing permitted development rights on pub premises using Article 4 Directions, as promoted by the Pubs Minister Supporting local community groups by Registering pubs as Assets of Community Value 1 See and Also various reports linked at Page 3 of 19

4 1.6 Local authorities that have already adopted pub protection policies include the London boroughs of Richmond, Merton, Camden, Lambeth, Lewisham and Islington. The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is about to undergo the Evidence in Public stage of its A Use Classes protection policy (1 st May 2013). 1.7 The London Borough of Hackney does not presently have such a policy. In Hackney's Briefing Note: Protection of Local Pubs the officer at para 4.6 writes 'Spacial Planning do not currently have a substantial evidence base which specifically identifies the need to protect public houses and documents pub closures'. The research presented here, which accurately mirrors the pub loss statistics in Lewisham and RBKC over a similar period that led directly to their protection policies in 2012 provides that evidence. 1.8 This report contains detailed statistics on pub closures in Hackney over the past thirty years. It provides statistical support for the London Borough of Hackney to bring forward a specific pub protection policy. Page 4 of 19

5 2. THE PRESENT THREAT TO PUBS 2.1 Dale Ingram, historic environment and planning consultant, and an acknowledged authority in the area of the conservation of pubs and breweries, has described the problem of community pub losses across London's residential areas as particularly acute. 4 Councillor Liam Curran of Lewisham borough has referred to a recent firestorm of greed in which developers are deliberately targeting pubs which in most cases are financially viable but cannot possibly compete with the short-term gains to be realised from London s premium land values. Lewisham has lost half its pubs in the last 20 years and Curran has called on the mayor of London to act quickly, believing that a protection plan for pubs needs to be implemented in a city-wide blanket policy The capital s pubs are particularly threatened due to the high value of land. Additionally, whilst high population density can assist pubs by providing a strong customer base, they also make pubs attractive targets for acquisition by supermarkets, betting shops and fast food outlets that are able to exploit planning rules in the GPDO (Permitted Development) in order to expand their London presence easily. Such planning policy and the high prices that retail chains are able to offer the indebted pub-owning companies or long-standing freeholders have contributed to pubs being sold under the radar without the opportunity for the views of the soon-to-be-deprived local community to be considered. Pubs can turn into shops, offices or restaurants overnight. Presently this is perfectly legal. 2.3 Pubs are profitable when considered over the long-term. However, they remain low margin businesses due to the beer duty, tied-estate restrictions, business rates and overheads. Demand for housing in the capital has increased land values to enable property developers to offer 'hope value' sums for pub sites which greatly outstrip, generally by % or more, the Current Use Value (CUV) of a pub unit i.e. the building and its trading business. Some developers can afford, and are prepared to, sit on these assets, while local resistance subsides, especially if the pub is shut for that reason, until the planning conditions are such that an application for change of use is passed by the local authority and the lucrative returns from conversion are realised. In many cases, the developer does not have to wait long. 2.4 Authorities work within the framework of planning law, policy and guidance. This includes the Town & Country Planning Acts and associated regulations, the National Planning Policy Framework and, in London, the London Plan Finally the authorities own planning policies are used to assess applications. Unless there is robust support and justification for decisions made by the authority outlined in formally adopted or draft policy which is sufficiently advanced as to represent a material planning consideration, decisions are vulnerable to being overturned on appeal by the planning inspectorate. 2.5 Some local authorities have admirably blazed a trail towards robust and defensible protection of pubs. They have recognised such facilities as, in the words of Lewisham s Liam Curran, precious cultural economic engines of social regeneration as well as providing a tangible link to the social development and cultural evolution of the neighbourhood they serve London Drinker, Volume 35 No. 2, (April / May 2013), p8. What s Brewing, April 2013, p5. Summit at the London Assembly, 13 th March, Page 5 of 19

6 2.6 The chief cause of pub losses in London is redevelopment for residential schemes. The high prices commanded by potential redevelopment sites means that pubs are very often not sold on the open market as operating pub businesses, for which there is growing demand in London, but instead are sold under the radar without the knowledge of the local community or the local authority. Pubs not in conservation areas are routinely demolished to make way for new housing or mixed use retail or offices and residential schemes. Others are converted to flats often after a period of lying empty ensuring that whatever active business was present will have diminished, strengthening the popular but flawed argument of non-viability which is put forward by the developer. 2.7 Authorities with established specific pub protection policies are better equipped to fight losses, giving substantial protection to these vital community facilities. If at a period in the recent past London had an over-supply of pubs, we have certainly passed that stage now. The typical attrition rate is 50% of pubs lost in a borough over the last year period. The figure in Hackney is 56%. The losses have been so stark that every single remaining pub is worthy of the best and most robust protection that can be afforded by a Local Plan policy. 2.8 A particularly robust pub protection policy was submitted for inspection by Cambridge City Council in December This document seeks to permit redevelopment only where: a) The pub has been marketed for 12 months as a public house free of tie and restrictive covenant and for alternative local commercial or community facility, at a price agreed with the Council following an independent professional valuation (paid for by the developer) and there has been no interest in either the free- or lease-hold either as a public house, restaurant or other use falling within the A use classes or as a community facility falling within the D1 use class; and b) All reasonable efforts have been made to preserve the facility (including all diversification options explored and evidence supplied to illustrate this) but it has been proven that it would not be economically viable to retain the building or site for its existing or any other A or D1 class use; and c) It has been otherwise demonstrated that the local community no longer needs the public house or any alternative A or D1 class use and its loss would not damage the availability of local commercial or community facilities that provide for day-to-day needs in the local area Page 6 of 19

7 2.9 Closer to home, Islington Council submitted their Development Management Policies document to the Planning Inspectorate in August In it they state that: The council supports the retention of Public Houses, and opposes their redevelopment, demolition and Change of Use. Applications for the Change of Use, development and/or demolition of a Public House must demonstrate that: i) The public house has been vacant for a continuous period of 2 years or more and continuous marketing evidence has been provided for the vacant 2 year period to demonstrate there is no realistic prospect of the unit being used as a public house in the foreseeable future; ii) The proposed alternative use will not detrimentally affect the vitality of the area and the character of the street scene; iii) The proposal does not constitute the loss of a service of particular value to the local community; and iv) Significant features of historic or character value are retained Other boroughs' protection policies as identified by Hackney's planning officer in the Briefing Note at 4.1 include Harrow, Waltham Forest, Cambridge and Islington. All of the protection policies by authorities identified by CAMRA in this document but not included in the Hackney Briefing Note are attached as a separate document- RBKC, Richmond, Camden, Lambeth and Merton. It is noted that Merton's revised Pub Protection Policy is in the final stages of adoption but varies little in comparison with the 'saved' policy adopted by them in their UDP in circa The chief alteration is in the extension of the period of marketing from 24 to 30 months. Assets of Community Value 2.11 Another recently introduced tool in the planning arsenal is the registration of pubs as Assets of Community Value under the Localism Act 2011 and its associated ACV Regulations This initiative is being actively encouraged by CAMRA who have adopted a national campaign target of 300 pubs to be registered nationwide by the end of In addition, pubs minister Brandon Lewis MP has recently urged communities to apply to have their own local added to the register to demonstrate to their Council how much they value their pub as a community facility. 9 ACVs and Planning Protection 2.12 In DCLG's Assets of Community Value Policy Statement at pp 5-6, it reads the fact that the site is listed [registered] may affect planning decisions it is open to the Local Planning Authority to decide that listing as an asset of community value is a material consideration if an application for change of use is submitted, considering all the circumstances of the case p79. 9 What s Brewing, April 2013, p6. Page 7 of 19

8 2.13 It is significant that the very first (and currently only) entries on the Assets of Community Value registers in several London Boroughs, including Wandsworth (the Castle), Lewisham (The Baring Hall Hotel) and Southwark (The Ivy House) as well as Hackney are pubs. The Chesham Arms on Mehetabel Road was registered by Hackney Council on 11 th March It is currently under threat of conversion into flats, despite there being much interest in reopening the pub from business operators ACV listing provides specific protection in law by ensuring that the nominating group is given the opportunity to bid to buy the asset if it is offered for sale. It may also be given material consideration in determining any planning application put forward on the asset. (ACV Policy Statement Sept 2011, as above). Additionally it sends a clear signal to any developer that conversion of a pub on the register will be opposed by the local community and so they will have a hard struggle trying to achieve change of use. The market response to this is a realistic CUV for the site, to encourage its survival as a public house. Identifiable resistance by local communities through ACV registration is likely to discourage developers from targeting such sites The pubs minister is also promoting the use of Article 4 Directions. These remove the ability of an owner to change the use of a pub under PD rules without a planning application. This approach has been used to great success in Lewisham recently to protect the Catford Bridge Tavern from conversion by Tesco. 10 The draft Article 4 Direction made in late 2012 was confirmed by Lewisham's Mayor, Sir Steven Bullock, on April 10 th, The present safeguard to pubs is provided by national pub protection policies enshrined in national planning policy framework (NPPF). Paragraph 70 of the NPPF currently refers to public houses as enhancing the sustainability of communities. However, planning case examples has proven that this is not adequate in all cases. CAMRA and other bodies continue to lobby central government on this very issue At a national level, CAMRA believe that the two immediate priorities are as follows: 1. Close the planning loophole on the demolition of freestanding pubs 2. Change the permitted development orders under the GPDO PD rules such that pubs sit in a use class of their own, i.e. become 'sui generis'. This would prevent overnight changes to other uses identified under PD without a planning application These simple steps require amendment of secondary legislation and can be done swiftly and cheaply, via parliamentary committee. There is some opposition from civil servants to be overcome After these straight-forward amendments, the NPPF will require bolstering in the area of pub protection, which could then refer to the dedicated usage classes for public houses specified above along with measures to ensure their survival and retention for community use Personal communication with Mike Benner, CAMRA Chief Executive and Greg Mulholland MP, Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group. Page 8 of 19

9 2.20 In the medium term, discussions are taking place within the Greater London Assembly regarding either an addendum to the London Plan 2011 or an amendment to policy in the revised London Plan to bring about a city-wide blanket protection policy, as advocated by Liam Curran and Alan Smith of Lewisham Council. The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has recently given such an undertaking in a statement recorded in various press articles in recent days (The Evening Standard, Pubs listed as community assets to protect them from developers 9 th April 2013, The Publican's Morning Advertiser London Mayor Boris Johnson promises more protection for pubs 10 th April 2013) In the meantime, local authorities have an array of tools at their disposal, outlined above, the most potent of which being the adoption of specific pub protection policies to give pubs a much-needed safety net in a property market which is stacked against them Local authorities should not underestimate the immense economic as well as social value of pubs to the local area. On average each pub injects around 80,000 annually to the local economy. Pubs typically employ six people per establishment and generally provide jobs for young people at a time of record youth unemployment. Pubs are a social leveller providing a unique environment for people of diverse backgrounds to mix Well-organised local campaigns to save pubs are highly effective instruments of social cohesion and those authorities that have acted favourably towards pubs e.g. Lewisham, Hackney and Wandsworth through recent ACV listings have increased in popularity as a result. Communities really value their pubs. They in turn will value their Councils when they take positive steps to protect pubs. Page 9 of 19

10 3. PUBS IN HACKNEY AN APPRAISAL 3.1 Hackney began life as farmland in Saxon times, providing food to the Roman City of London. The present borough stretches from the reservoirs in the Lea valley in the North East, and from the borders of Finsbury Park in the North West, down through historic Stoke Newington and Clapton, taking in the original village core of Hackney around St John s Church, St Augustine s Tower and the Town Hall, down to the fringes of the City of London around Shoreditch and Bethnal Green. 3.2 This diverse area features a massive range of architecture and a rich balance of former industrial space, parks and green spaces, markets, and a huge spectrum of housing stock from Georgian townhouses to designer blocks of flats. There are 1300 listed buildings in Hackney, from the iconic Hackney Empire to the grade 1 listed Old Tower of the former Church of Saint Augustine. Hackney has 29 conservation areas including the historic core of Hackney, centred on Clapton Square, and historic urban open-spaces including Clapton Common and Clissold Park. Conservation areas also protect large areas of Georgian and Victorian housing, and areas of industrial heritage. 3.3 In 1983 the borough had 229 operational pubs. By April 2013 this figure had fallen to 104. In the last thirty years, Hackney has lost over half of its pubs (56%). In some postal areas within the borough, the attrition rate is even higher. 69% of the pubs in E5 which were operational in 1983 had been closed, demolished or converted to other use by For E8 the figure is 65% and for E2 the figure is also 65%. 3.4 The following tables and figures provide a graphical picture of the changes since Figure 1: Fate of pubs in Borough of Hackney ( ) Page 10 of 19

11 3.5 The figures below cover only those pubs that lie within the Borough of Hackney. Postal Area Pub Count 1983 Pub Count 1986 Pub Count 1991 Pub Count 2013 E % E % E % E % N % N % N % Table 1: Pub losses in Borough of Hackney ( ) by postal area Loss Rate (30 Years) Figure 2: Pub numbers in Hackney postcode areas ( ) Page 11 of 19

12 Figure 3: Pub count in all Hackney Wards ( ) Figure 4: Pub closure numbers across Borough of Hackney ( ) Page 12 of 19

13 has been used as the starting point for this study as it provides a thirty year reference period and was a year of publication for the CAMRA East London & City Good Beer Guide. This guide was also published in 1986 and 1991 and so these years provide useful snapshots into the state of pubs in the East London & City Area at that time. The guide includes all pubs in the area, not just those selling cask ale. Since 1991, the guide has been updated online by the branch. This information has been used to provide the 2013 update. 3.7 A proportion of Hackney s pubs fall under the auspices of North London CAMRA. These are pubs within the N1, N4 and N16 postal areas. The North London CAMRA website has been used to track the status of these pubs from 1983 to the present day. 3.8 It can be seen that whilst some pub closures took place from 1983 to 1991, and indeed some pubs also opened, the figures between 1983 and 1991 for total pubs present in the borough are broadly the same. This is clearly demonstrated in Figure 1 and Table Pub closures in Hackney began to ramp up from the early 1990s and 2002 was certainly a peak year with a record 14 closures. However, the closure rate remains a concern considering that in 2013 we are dealing with half the pub stock that we had in Fate of Pubs in Hackney Figure 5: Current use of former pubs closed in Hackney since 1983 Page 13 of 19

14 4. FOCUS ON CLAPTON (E5) 4.1 The Clapton Area has suffered a particularly high attrition rate in the past thirty years. At 69% it is the highest in the Borough. The attrition rate in E5 is also the highest of all the postal areas analysed for this study. 4.2 The Clapton Area is of particular interest to CAMRA, with the 1991 East London & City Beer Guide describing it thus: The railway cuts through the area and leaps the Lea besides the only real riverside stretch in this guide, from which a string of pubs benefits from some tranquil views over the Hackney Marshes. The river is part of our canal network, and the intrepid can still sail to Manchester and even beyond from here. There is still some commercial traffic although not as much as when local Victorian canal poet Cosmo Pilkington came over to pen a few lines I sail my barge down the Lea And see a pub It s ale for me! Off of the barge and in the bar Soon I m getting down a jar 4.3 The guide listed 29 pubs in E5 in By 1991 all 29 were still open. By 2013 there are only 9 still operating. Most of these pubs date from the 19 th century. Although the first pub closure in E5 occurred in 1993, the majority of these losses have occurred since Current use of those closed E5 pubs not demolished is shown in Figure 6: Figure 6: Current use of Former Pubs closed since 1983 (E5 area) Page 14 of 19

15 4.4 Along the picturesque stretch of the River Lea navigation referred to above, just two operating pubs remain. These are the Anchor & Hope (Fullers) at High Hill Ferry and the Princess of Wales (formerly Prince of Wales Young's) at Lea Bridge. This part of the Lea Valley was hugely significant during the 2012 Olympics. The canal is widely used during the fine weather months by boat clubs, cyclists, walkers and picnickers in Millfields and Springfield Parks. There is certainly under-provision of pubs in this treasured part of Hackney for such a large catchment area and popular spot. 4.5 Again it can be seen from Figure 6 that the biggest threat to pubs in E5 has come from residential conversion. The British Oak was demolished in 2003 and this site is now flats. The Ship Aground, next to the Princess of Wales, was very popular until its closure in The subsequent unauthorised partial demolition of the pub caused fierce local objection from the Millfields community. 12 Another historic riverside pub, the Robin Hood, was demolished in A pub had stood on that site since In the Clapton Square Conservation Area, the first conservation area to be established in Hackney, there were six pubs at peak. There are now only two left operational. These are the Pembury Tavern on Dalston Lane and the Wishing Well on Lower Clapton Road. Fitzgeralds (The former Elephant s Head) has been consented for conversion of the upper floors to private residential with a planning condition removing the permitted development rights on the A4 pub parts in order to secure its ongoing use as a pub. The Lord Cecil currently lies empty and unused. The Chesham Arms on Mehetabel Road closed in October 2012 and has been targeted by a developer for conversion to residential use. The Duke of Clarence was converted to residential in 2002, despite being listed on the Council s Local List of non-statutory heritage assets. 4.7 Elsewhere in Hackney The Marquis of Lansdowne is presently under threat of demolition by the Geffrye Museum for its extension despite being a Georgian building making a positive contribution to a conservation area. Robust objections to its loss have been made by CAMRA, the national amenity societies and SAVE Britain's Heritage. 4.8 There is some positive news in the Clapton Area. Two pubs closed during 2012 with reputations for anti-social behaviour: the Three Sisters (1871) on Queensdown Road and the Windsor Castle (1826) on Lower Clapton Road. Two previous closures, the George on Glyn Road and the Cricketer s Hotel on Downs Park Road have been lost to residential since 2009 despite local opposition. The Three Sisters and the Windsor Castle are to buck this trend, both having been purchased recently by pub operators. The Three Sisters is due to reopen in April 2013 as the Star by Hackney Downs and the Windsor Castle in Spring 2013 as an authentic and traditional local stocking beer from the plethora of new breweries in the Hackney area More good news for a longredundant pub in neighbouring Tower Hamlets is the repair and reopening of the Cock & Shuttle in Shoreditch High Street announced last week. 4.9 These two developments are welcome news indeed for E5 pub users. They are the first pub retentions in twenty years of closures, demolitions and changes of use. However, dealing with a depleted stock down to just nine pub premises in the whole area if the trend had continued it could have resulted in some E5 wards losing all of their pubs. Given such low levels of pub premises remaining in some of the Borough s areas, the situation in E5 demonstrates precisely why a Borough pub protection policy is required. 12 Page 15 of 19

16 5. CASE STUDY THE CHESHAM ARMS 5.1 Although within the Clapton Square Conservation Area, the Chesham Arms on Mehetabel Road falls in the E9 postal area (Homerton). The pub was built in 1865 when the two adjoining residential streets, Mehetabel Road and Isabella Road were laid out by the then proprietors of the Sutton House Estate. 5.2 The family in control of Sutton House in the latter half of the 19 th century was the Ball family which originated from Amersham in Buckinghamshire. Mehetabel Ball named the Chesham Arms in honour of her father-in-law John Ball who remarked that he would often prefer Chesham than Homerton! The pub name is a rarity in itself being the only pub listed on any pub history website bearing that name. 5.3 The pub had been owned by the same family since the early 1980s having been bought as a retirement investment. The freehold passed into a trust fund for the children of the original purchaser with the fund receiving rental income for the past thirty years. The pub is mentioned in the reference CAMRA ELAC guides as being a popular yet wellhidden local, renowned for its beer and lunchtime snacks. The tenancy changed hands several times during the 1990s and the pub was in need of some internal investment, the décor having deteriorated gradually and despite the character and charm of the building and its focal position in the conservation area, the pub had, in recent years taken on a somewhat down at heel appearance. 5.4 From early 2012, the sitting tenant spoke to various regulars about the owner s intention to sell the pub. The tenant himself wanted to buy the freehold but was unable to raise the funds. The pub was not put on the open market but various parties were shown around by an estate agent specialising in residential property. In October 2012 the pub was sold to a property developer and closed for business immediately. Figure 7 Chesham Arms, 15 Mehetabel Road, E9 (2010) Page 16 of 19

17 5.5 The property developer bought the pub without planning permission and without engaging with the planning department or the local community. The pub closed suddenly and with no notice. Indeed regulars turned up for a drink the day of the sale and were shocked to find the doors locked and window shutters closed. The next day, hoarding was erected in front of the building, without planning permission. The pub has lain empty for over six months with no work carried out, no planning permission sought, and most importantly, no public access by the local community. 5.6 Following the early discussions with the previous landlord, a group of neighbours in the streets surrounding Churchwell Path formed the Save the Chesham action committee and campaign. The campaign has received much local media coverage and has enjoyed support from Ward Councillors, the Mayor of Hackney, the Greater London Assembly Member for East London and local MPs. 5.7 The campaign objective is to get the pub re-opened as soon as possible for Hackney residents to enjoy. Successes so far include: Listing as Hackney s first (and currently only) Asset of Community Value Listing as a non-statutory Heritage Asset (Local Listing) Planning Enforcement Action taken over the hoarding The developer conceding that there is interest from pub operators in buying and reopening the pub 5.8 Several local prominent pub operators have expressed great interest in purchasing the pub, refurbishing it and opening for business. They recognise the growing market for such facilities in Hackney. They have money to spend and are ready to move fast. In spite of this the pub remains closed and boarded as the developer will only consider offers above 700,000, an unrealistic price for the building and 50,000 more than he paid for it only six months ago! 5.9 Developers are still targeting pubs as these lovely buildings have character, size and a market freehold value (as pubs) which makes them attractive purchases in terms of floor area per pound. They then argue that the pub business was not viable. They may also argue that there is no interest in purchasing the pub business, backed up with a lack of serious enquiries at their over-inflated and unjustified asking price. The developer will very likely soon be submitting a planning application to convert the Chesham Arms to flats. He is also likely to appeal against Hackney Council s ACV listing. This current impasse is extremely frustrating for the local community and the previous users of the pub as they are deprived of the facility indefinitely The Chesham Arms represents a fine example of the need for a pub protection policy. If speculative developers were informed that the Council were always minded to refuse change of use applications except in exceptional circumstances (such as those listed by Cambridge or Islington in their policies), they would not consider the risk worthy and they would leave pub buildings alone. Page 17 of 19

18 6. PUB PROTECTION IN HACKNEY 6.1 The key recommendations applicable to local authorities in Keeping Local by Steve O Connell are: 1. Across London there are too few planning policies which adopt a robust stance in support of existing pubs, an omission which is contributing to the demise of the local. Planning policies which set out a clear inclination to retain pubs should be adopted London-wide. 2. In addition to this, councils should apply stringent criteria when considering change of use or redevelopment: a. Have all reasonable efforts been made to preserve the facility? b. Will the proposed alternative use affect the character of the neighbourhood? c. Has it been demonstrated that the local community no longer needs the pub? d. Are significant historical or cultural features threatened? 3. The London Plan policy 3.1B should be amended to encourage [CAMRA would prefer 'require'] all borough councils to implement these stricter criteria in order to protect the high street and local communities 4. Borough councils should adopt a proactive approach to limiting the number of high street shops selling alcohol. In consultation with local residents and businesses, councils can implement a saturation zone licensing policy, whereby any application for a new licence within the zone (typically seen as saturated within existing licensed premises) can be rejected on receipt of reasonable representations from interested parties. The onus would be on the applicant to prove that their business would not contribute to the cumulative impact of multiple licensed premises leading to anti-social behaviour in the vicinity. With a shift of emphasis away from cheap off-licence alcohol, these saturation zones could embrace the sociable drinking model of the community pub. 13 In summary: 6.2 With a 56% attrition rate of pubs over thirty years, the London Borough of Hackney has suffered pub losses exceeding the East London & City average. Whilst only one pub in the survey sample had been demolished up to 1991, 46 were demolished by Of the 69 pub sites in the borough changed to other uses, over half of these are now flats. Once a pub falls into the hands of a developer, it is very difficult to save it. Proper pub protection policies such as those measures outlined above would send a very clear signal warning developers away from pubs in the first place. 6.3 Hackney is at the centre of an East London real ale brewing renaissance with nine breweries in the borough. Some wards benefit from two or three each. The authority is urged to use the springboard provided by East London and Hackney's specifically real ale renaissance to act on pub protection. Traditional public houses' social role, their architecture and the ales they serve are the lifeblood of our communities. 13 pp Page 18 of 19

19 7. THE DATA 7.1 The statistics on pub losses highlighted in this report are supported by detailed records of all pubs in the Borough which have existed at any time from 1983 to The figures are recorded in a spreadsheet available on request. The graphs and tables presented here have been produced from the data contained within the spreadsheet. 7.3 The sources used to compile the data comprise the following: CAMRA East London & City Beer Guides 1983, 1986, 1991 CAMRA North London pub guide (online version) The Lost Pubs Project - London Pub History - Capital Pub Check updates to December 2012 o o Dead Pubs Society - London Pubology London Borough of Hackney Planning Archives Hackney Gazette Online National Archives o 7.4 All updates are correct at April 2013 to the best of the expert pub knowledge within CAMRA. 8. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Sarah Watson, Data Analysis and Presentation Stephen Harris, ELAC CAMRA Pub Photographer and Historian Keith Emmerson, ELAC CAMRA Pub Database and Webmaster Martyn Williams, Media Relations Officer, Save The Chesham Campaign Team Ray Wright, ELAC CAMRA, Pubs Officer John Pardoe, ELAC CAMRA, Chairman John Cryne, Regional Director, CAMRA. N London CAMRA Pubs Preservation Officer (PPO). Dale Ingram. Director, ConservationWorks UK Ltd. Historic Environment & Planning consultants. CAMRA: Campaigner of the Year 2013 for pub protection work; SWL PPO; London PPA, National Groups member: Planning Advisory and Pubs Heritage. Community Interest Group member, The Castle Battersea (ACV 2013). Community pub shareholder: The Garibaldi Bourne End (ACV 2013), The Ivy House Peckham (ACV 2012). Page 19 of 19

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