Hopes of Highgate pub restoration retained after community status renewed
- Credit: Archant
A former Highgate pub long under threat of development has been relisted as an asset of community value (ACV).
The Winchester Tavern, in Archway Road, has been subject of numerous planning applications to turn the pub into flats – which neighbours have defied.
Locals now hope the renewal of its status as an ACV – which formally recognises its social value to the area in planning terms – could see the pub, closed since 2016, restored as a free house.
Cllr Liz Morris (Lib Dem, Highgate), who has ardently campaigned against the housing proposals, said: “It is fantastic news that the Winchester Tavern has been relisted as an Asset of Community Value. It will give this building the added protection it deserves.
“We hope this sends a strong message to the owner to stop trying to build more flats and to find a tenant so the Winchester Tavern can finally reopen and the community can once again enjoy this much loved pub.”
Hundreds of objections were lodged by local residents and groups between 2016 to 2019 as part of three planning applications that were all rejected by Haringey Council. One campaigner handcuffed herself to the building in protest.
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Part of the existing building is now used as flats, after earlier proposals in 2014 were approved.
Christopher Riley, chair of Miltons Residents Association, said: “Residents are very pleased that ACV status has been applied to The Winchester.
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“During the pandemic many new friendships have formed through the mutual aid groups and the community hope new management will take over the pub where they can raise a glass together.”
The Winchester Tavern was built in 1881 as part of a parade of shops with housing above. It later became the Winchester Hall Hotel, named after Winchester Hall, a late 17th-century mansion nearby.
Cllr John Bevan, Haringey Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “We’re delighted to award Asset of Community Value (ACV) status to the Winchester Tavern on Archway Road following on from its nomination by the Highgate Society.
"This venue retains the capacity to be a local meeting space and valued, social asset to the surrounding communities it has served over the years, having once played host to community meetings, live music and a range of other activities.
First granted in 2015, the ACV status will now last another five years. This means that during this period the local community can buy the property if it is listed for sale – given a moratorium period of six months to mount a bid.
The owner of the site, Mulberry One Limited, has been contacted for comment via agent Barton Willmore.