As a further follow up to ensure any statistics I provide are accurate, I have been in touch with the developers and his architect and they have explained that the previous size included a large basement area that we not fully utilised. The changes planned would allow the toilets to be located downstairs, allowing the drinking/dining/bar area to be virtually identical to the current pub.
In terms of loss of pub, assuming that the developer can find somebody to run the new pub below a hotel, this application should not result in the loss of a pub, just the outside area. I suspect that this would be enough to satisfy Policy HC7, but @CllrLiamCurran probably has a better understand of this than I do.
There certainly remain two broad questions that people will have different answers to:
Thanks for this and they are all valid points. A few observations in response:
There were many points during the decade-long battle for The Greyhound when some people said ‘Give it up. We don’t want that boarded-up eyesore around any longer’. In many instances, this is what developers are relying on so people give in, whether their case is meritorious or otherwise.
Secondly, in many of those cases the developers are trying to establish a precedent and it is important to ensure planning rules are observed. If we don’t challenge them, the planning rules for conserving and regenerating our high streets will be trampled upon.
Thirdly, some of the pubs you refer to are in shopfronts etc. While some of these are brilliant establishments, created through hard work and something to be cherished, they are generally more transient, located in non-special units and will have less planning rules available to keep them going when an owner moves on, is booted out through rent rises etc etc etc. This was part of the problem for The Windmill and the application for it to be registered as an ACV did certainly include the fact that it had a disabled toilet.
Furthermore, the pubs that are generally fought over are fine, historic landmark buildings that have shaped and graced our environment since Victorian/Edwardian timesand, once lost, cannot be recreated. They are also purpose-built, having the facilities vital for running a pub.
By the way, on planning committees I have often voted for change, new buildings etc. I am not opposed to new developments per se. One of my relatives is a developer/house-builder and I know from the inside how difficult it can be and would not put objections in without thought or reason.
Have no idea what the measurements of the existing disabled toilet are, but it is sizeable.
Would the developer be looking for someone to run the pub as well as someone to run the hotel, or is the idea for it all to be managed by one person/entity?
The fact that pubs are crowded does not always mean that they are profitable. What has made the All Inn One thrive economically is that Richard and Julia have from the outset been hands on throughout, working all hours of the day and night and sacrificing much of their family life… With the difficulties experienced by pubs etc in finding and retaining good staff, particularly chefs, co-owner Richard’s input as the pub’s chef together with Julia’s input in all other aspects has contributed enormously to the financial success of the All Inn One. Plus, of course, the pub is not tied.
In my opinion, it may well be extremely difficult if not impossible to find a person/persons/entity capable of running the pub on a profitable basis.
On a personal note, I feel sad that, having worked so hard for so long to make the All Inn One such a success, there is now the potential for Richard and Julia to be deprived of reaping the rewards of such success.
Hi Councillor… in case you weren’t aware SE23.life verifies members who are those that the SE23.life team (moderators/owner) have met confirming their identity in real life. This has gone to great lengths to ensure fake profiles aren’t created, or sock puppets engaged, something which the site owner tries to keep on top of.
So Thor is not really anonymous though he chooses to use a screen name other than his own. In fact eight of the contributors to this thread are using some form of screen name, either a nickname (as in mine), first names only or initials. Most have been verified as real people by the site team.
IMHO opinion it is this system of verification which makes this site work somewhat better than others. If you ever had any concern about my identity you can call me Jason. I’ll happily PM you my full name and even a link to my professional credentials. Or you can talk with some of your other councillors who know me well.
Continuing the discussion from comments made on a se26 forum:
Julia and Richard have sold the property. The planning application is not in their name nor I they involved in the application.
The hotel on the Coop site has not been approved by the council. The applicant is continuing to submit documents as recently as yesterday, so I think they are working with the council to find ways to get approval, once a number of concerns are addressed.
The loss of floor space in the pub is NOT one of the reasons the Forest Hill Society will be opposing the development (see discussion above about floor space). We will make our objection public once it is written.
I think this hotel is a great idea and will hopefully bring much needed custom and jobs to the area. With the car park opposite and the station nearby it’s a great location. A road crossing would need to be put in I imagine.
I am really in two minds about this as well. I don’t drink out much but when I do I go to the All Inn One and I love it there. Nice beer, great hospitality, good food and a lovely atmosphere. That is all down to the current owners and staff and as such is already gone as the pub is sold and Richard and Julia want to move on. They work really hard in there and I can’t imagine it makes them a fortune. There is also a lot of competition around the area so I imagine selling it as a going concern will be hard.
So whatever happens next it wont be the same so while I would love to still have a pub to go to I am also quite keen on seeing a hotel here especially if it retains a pub element. There have been several times it would have been really handy for me esp recently when we were putting friends up.
So I won’t be supporting a campaign to save the pub but I wish good luck to those that do…
The drawings do not currently have a layout for the spaces allocated to be the pub areas. It might be anticipated that when a new licencee is secured, an interior/pub designer will be appointed to do the detailed design.
On the provision of a disabled toilet, legislation now mandates that one must be provided with no derogations and no weaseling out… The lower part of the two areas is currently only serviced by stairs and hence that smaller part may not be deemed accessible - however it may also become a basement/kitchen area - who knows.
Could not agree more. The hard work, perseverance and the endurance of what frankly were very difficult times for Richard and Julia in the first years should not be under-estimated.
Their foresight and planning as they converted what was a failed and some-times violent pub into the success it is now is tribute to their skills and expertise. I recall that on the expulsion of one un-desirable he returned in the night to throw bricks through their windows. Some of you may remember the pub being robbed at the point of a gun.
So I am one of a long line of regulars who will readily extol Richard and Julia’s virtues and will also declare an interest, both have become the closest of friends with the BH and me.
Their successors will need to have the requisite hard work ethic combined with the expertise to convert the new business into what they want. And they deserve every good luck in their potential successes - whatever building they find themselves occupying.
And candidates with those skill sets are not to be found queuing to take a pub in south London. Sure there are good examples of successful establishments but by comparison with say the Railway Telegraph where an existing footprint was upgraded and has passed through several occupants who have tried their best, it does not always work.
So let this case run it’s course - it needs to be a bigger establishment integrated with a wider offer if it is to succeed commercially.
There are other real at risk candidates, two already with the shutters up, another offered for sale that does not guarantee its longevity, all within the Forest Hill area. Perhaps efforts would be better directed to those premises and their potential for success.
This is what happens. The owner of The Rutland Arms retired and sold it to a private developer. It was only boarded up after it was sold. The developer promised a pub would be retained and the rest of the site developed.