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Save the Catford Bridge Tavern!

Home / News / Rushey Green / Save the Catford Bridge Tavern!

16 October 2012
Bridge Tavern This week I have been contacted by a number of people who are concerned about the potential closure of the Catford Bridge Tavern.

Since opening, the Catford Tavern has been hugely successful and is very popular with those living and working in the area (including me!). Catford has been long crying out for a pub of this nature and it would be a real loss if it were to close so soon after it had opened.

A planning application has been submitted to Lewisham Council which seeks planning consent for the use of the floors above the pub as flats and the basement as retail storage. I have objected to this application as I don’t think the floors above a pub are really suitable for residential accommodation.

But I am also concerned that the application refers to plans to convert the pub to retail use in future and this is the real problem.

The actual conversion of the pub on the ground floor to a “Tesco Metro” or “Sainsbury’s Local” can happen without a planning application. This change is called “permitted development” and is determined by national planning policy. On Monday, at the Communities and Local Government Select Committee in Westminster, I asked the new planning Minister whether he plans to introduce a separate use class for pubs to prevent this sort of change happening. He didn’t answer my question directly and even claimed it wasn’t his responsibility (hmm…).

In the short term, I do think it’s important that Lewisham Council refuses the current application. I also think they should consider what other action could be taken to provide greater protection to the pub as a valuable community asset. I am aware that in respect of the Baring Hall Hotel in Grove Park, an ‘Article 4 Direction’ was applied (aimed at protecting the character of buildings and their heritage). I have asked the Head of Planning to consider this in respect of the Catford Tavern.

For those who wish to get involved with the campaign to Save the Catford Bridge Tavern, you may be interested in signing this petition which has been set up about the issue.

You can also submit your objection to Lewisham Council here. The Planning Application Reference is DC/12/81142/X

Lewisham Council also have a helpful guide for objecting to planning applications which can be accessed here.


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