Leighton Arms: Protest planned at Kentish Town pub as developers turn it into supermarket ‘without permission’

Neighbours are angry at the development of the old pub. Picture: Sam Volpe

Neighbours are angry at the development of the old pub. Picture: Sam Volpe - Credit: Archant

Neighbours and campaigners are to protest the conversion of a Kentish Town pub into a Nisa supermarket this Friday.

They allege that the old Leighton Arms in Brecknock Road was altered without the requisite planning permission and Camden Council is urgently investigating the development.

The town hall said, although the property was not listed as an Asset of Community Value, it had concerns as it hadn’t been told about the planned change of use.

Protest organiser Josephine Siedlecka told the Ham&High: “There has been a pub there for years and in November 2015 it was something that the council told the developers should be kept.

“I was at the appeal meeting.”

The pub was recognised by the Planning Inspectorate as a “community facility” in that appeal decision, which allowed workers to convert the top half of the building into flats on the condition they left the pub intact.

The developers had been appealing an initial refusal by the town hall to let them anywhere near it.

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A council spokesman said: “The council’s planning enforcement team is currently investigating an alleged breach of planning control of the change of use of the former Leighton Arms pub into a convenience shop.

“The owners have stated they carried out the change of use as permitted development. However, the council does not believe the developer has complied with the relevant conditions.”

The developers concerned – Bryanston Investments – declined to comment to this newspaper.

Sofiul Allam and Sandhya Choudhury are the husband and wife owners of Susan’s, the closest shop to the old Leighton pub.

Mr Allam said: “This affects not only me, but maybe nine or 10 local shops will be out of business. We noticed the Nisa signs about three weeks ago. The owner of this Nisa has several other stores, including just up the road.

“We’ve tried talking to him for a long time, he told us to think about opening a cafe instead.”

Nisa did not respond to our requests for comment.