Alliance pub planning bid sparks forum’s fears for historic building’s future

The Alliance Pub. Picture: Ewan Munro/Creative Commons

The Alliance Pub. Picture: Ewan Munro/Creative Commons - Credit: Ewan Munro

Punters at the Alliance pub in West Hampstead fear that a new planning request could damage the building’s exterior – or even lead to its closure in the future.

The pub’s new owners have submitted a request to the council to add to existing planning permission.

In 2016, permission to convert space above the pub into flats was approved.

But the new application seeks to add about half a metre of height to the building, and add to the accomodation created.

Members of the Fortune Green and West Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum are anxious that the proposed work would result in a reduction in floor space for the pub, which is a designated Asset of Community Value (ACV).

Nick Jackson, the organisation’s co-chair, told the Ham&High: “We have concerns because it’s higher than the existing planning permission, and the neighbourhood forum is not keen on adding height to Mill Lane.”

Nick explained that other buildings further along the road have increased their height and he did not want to see a “piggyback escalation” where allowing the Alliance to be taller could set a precedent for other developers.

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Nick added: “The other issue is that we believe this application will take more space from the bar area, which we are very concerned by.

“We don’t want to see anything that affects the pub’s business viability in the future.”

Meanwhile, Joanne Scott, a regular in the Alliance, explained that she was worried the pub’s redevelopment would spoil the historic roof of the building.

She said: “The Alliance is a local landmark building and has a distinctive skyline.

“If you look at the artist’s impression of the proposed Mansard roof extension you can see the original roof will be destroyed.”

The lower floors of the Alliance was added to the list of ACVs in 2016, in the same week that it was sold by pub operator Greene King.

The owner of the Alliance could not be reached by this newspaper for comment.

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