The long battle to save the historic Winchester Tavern site on Archway Road continues as the developer puts in another application to convert the function room at the rear of the pub into a residential unit.
The proposal is to turn what was a well-proportioned, well-lit and much used room into a studio flat and create a function room in the basement with little natural light, a low ceiling, no outlook and no disabled access. The application also seems to simultaneously use this area for storage.
Councillors and community activists have been fighting to save this landmark pub for five years in the face of efforts by the developer to turn as much of it as possible into residential units. Whilst 11 flats have already been built mostly on the upper levels, in 2016 a Planning Inspector rejected a proposal to turn the rear of the pub into a flat, on the grounds this would not leave enough space for a commercially viable pub. Over 800 people signed a petition to object to the proposal. But now another application has been brought forward.
The consultation on the current application closes on 19th April and you can submit comments at the embedded link.
Cllr Liz Morris (Lib Dem councillor for Highgate) commented that:
“The greed of this developer knows no bounds! This is the fourth Trojan Horse attempt by the developer to build a flat in the rear function room knowing full well that it will risk the community value and long-term viability of the pub.
“The proposed new function area will be a dark, substandard basement room with low ceilings, no outlook and with no disabled access. Why would anyone want to use it?”
Photo credit: Chris Whippet, CC BY-SA 2.0