Search

Historic Old White Bear pub in Hampstead ‘saved’ after huge community campaign

17:41 10 February 2014

Campaigners dress up to save the Old White Bear in Well Road. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Campaigners dress up to save the Old White Bear in Well Road. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The huge campaign to save a 300-year-old watering hole may have scored a significant victory after Camden Council reportedly refused plans to turn it into a luxury six-bedroom house.

The huge campaign to save a 300-year-old watering hole may have scored a significant victory after Camden Council reportedly refused plans to turn it into a luxury six-bedroom house.

The council is believed to have rejected developer Braaid Ventures Ltd’s change of use application to turn the historic Old White Bear pub, in Well Road, Hampstead, into housing.

The news comes little more than a week after the venue closed its doors on Sunday February 2 and will give campaigners hope that it will reopen as a pub in the future.

In an email, the leaders of the Save The Old White Bear campaign wrote: “Camden Council [has] refused permission to convert the Old White Bear to a six-bedroom house!

“The details of the refusal have yet to be published online but we understand that it was based on the Old White Bear’s irreplaceable importance to the local community – clearly demonstrated by the wealth of comments and letters from everyone explaining how the pub’s loss would have such an enormous impact on their lives.”

Online and paper petitions opposing the change of use application attracted nearly 4,000 signatures in total.

Braaid Ventures had also lodged an application to change the use into a restaurant, which can be done without planning permission under “permitted development”.

However, Camden Council has also blocked this step according to campaigners, by invoking special powers to remove the permitted development rights.

This measure only applies for six months, but the Save The Old White Bear group says the council can make it permanent if there is enough public support.

A spokesman said: “We are absolutely delighted with the steps taken by Camden Council to protect our pub. It shows how important the Old White Bear has been to our community not only in recent times but since it was first built in 1704.

“The local community is determined to keep the Old White Bear as a pub. It is therefore important that during the consultation period, local people write in to support the council’s Article 4 Direction [to remove the permitted development rights].

“We are tremendously grateful to Camden Council for carefully investigating the facts about the Old White Bear’s importance to its users and for issuing a refusal on the application to convert the pub into a house.

“We are also delighted that the Council has taken the proactive and decisive step to issue an immediate Article 4 Direction to remove Permitted Development rights and therefore stop the pub from being classified as a restaurant.

“We understand that such a move will have required both much consideration and agreement from different departments within the Council and our sincere thanks must go to everybody who was a part of that process.

“We would publicly like to thank our thousands of supporters for rallying around us in our hour of need. Without that support, the pub would certainly have slipped away from us. At least now there is a good prospect that it may yet open its doors again. We strongly urge the developer to meet with us and discuss the way forward in bringing this matter to a conclusion satisfactory to all interested parties.

“Finally, we would like to thank our local ward councillors for their support – in particular Cllr Chris Knight who has advised and supported us throughout every minute of our fight and who has spent many hours in and out of Camden Town Hall lobbying on our behalves.”

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Police arrived at the Hornsey Tavern. Photo: Crouch End TV

A man who was stabbed in the stomach area rushed into a nearby pub in Hornsey where his ‘life was saved’ by a nurse who happened to be there.

Police were called to reports of a stabbing

Police responded after a man was stabbed on High Street in Hornsey yesterday evening at 9pm

Yesterday, 22:32
Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward will remain at the helm after seeing off a challenge from Cllr Sally Gimson

There will be no change at the top of Camden Council after leader Sarah Hayward saw off a challenge from within and defeated Labour rival Sally Gimson.

Yesterday, 19:08
Tom Franklin with supporters, including Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry, outside court

Eight campaigners cleared of any wrongdoing for their part in an arms fair protest may be dragged back to court after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lodged an appeal.

Yesterday, 18:06
Advertising banners on lampposts in Haverstock Hill

Residents in Belsize Park say large estate agents banners which have gone up on lampposts throughout the area are an “ugly” eyesore and should not have been allowed by Camden.

Yesterday, 17:38
Thames Water have discovered a well under Muswell Hill Broadway

Haringey Council has invited English Heritage to investigate the well’s history

Yesterday, 17:23
Tulip Siddiq MP and Chris Percy with their newborn daughter Azalea Joy Percy

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, Tulip Siddiq, has said that mums being prevented from breastfeeding in public is “depressing” after a group of women were banned from breastfeeding at the Swiss Cottage Marriott.

Yesterday, 17:20
Air pollution public meeting at St Stephens
Simon Birkett, founder of Clean Air London

A citizen science project has confirmed what Camden residents and environmentalists have long suspected - that we are breathing in dangerous levels of toxins right across the borough, even at the leafy heart of Hampstead Heath.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe