Carlton Tavern: Four years after Maida Vale pub was illegally demolished it has still not reopened

The Carlton Tavern, half new, half old, half finished. Picture: Nathalie Raffray

The Carlton Tavern, half new, half old, half finished. Picture: Nathalie Raffray - Credit: Archant

Four years after a much-loved Maida Vale pub was illegal reduced to rubble, a community is still no clearer as to when it will reopen.

Tiles being added to the Carlton Tavern. Picture: Rob Cope

Tiles being added to the Carlton Tavern. Picture: Rob Cope - Credit: Archant

The outer shell of the Carlton Tavern is near completion but with total radio silence from its developers it could be some time before people can return. Workers could recently be seen adding tiles to the exterior walls.

The pub, in Carlton Vale, is currently listed for sale by estate agent David Coffer Lyons (DCL) for freehold or leasehold.

Owner CLTX has breached an enforcement notice that insisted the pub had to be completed by last July.

Westminster City Council, which has fought “a long battle” for the pub’s restoration, is considering further action.

Rob Cope, of The Friends of Carlton Tavern, said: “As usual, we’re utterly baffled by CLTX’s silence. This may be one of the best known pubs in the world but there’s no sign of any PR activity. All externals look complete. The builders are doing a great job but no one gets to look inside.”

CLTX, based in Tel Aviv and owned by Ori Calif, called in bulldozers after the council rejected its application to replace the pub with a bar and block of flats in January 2015.

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Two weeks after illegally reducing the Victorian pub to rubble in April 2015, CLTX put in an appeal against the rejection of its bid, and insisted it be heard in secret by written representation.

Instead, the council slapped CLTX with an enforcement order to rebuild the pub “brick by brick” by July 2018.

A further public inquiry in May 2016 ruled it must be rebuilt identically, “in facsimile”, inside and out.

In 2017 CLTX put in an application for two studio flats and a two-bedroom apartment on the first and second floors of the pub, which was – again – rejected by Westminster Council.

Officers said they were abiding by the public inquiry ruling.

Westminster’s cabinet member for planning and public realm Richard Beddoe said: “We’re encouraged that construction is ongoing at the Carlton Tavern site.

“It has been a long battle to ensure the pub is rebuilt brick by brick.

“However, it is also clear that our enforcement notice, insisting that work was completed within two years, has not been complied with, and as such we are considering whether any further action should be taken.

“It would not be appropriate for the council to comment any further at present.”

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