Landmark victory as developer loses appeal against order protecting historic Homerton pub

Mehetabel Road neighbours outside The Chesham Arms earlier this year.

Mehetabel Road neighbours outside The Chesham Arms earlier this year. - Credit: Archant

Pub campaigners are celebrating tonight after they and the council successfully fended off a developer’s attempt to overturn a ruling protecting a popular boozer.

The Chesham Arms in Mehetabel Road, Homerton – which was once frequented by comedians Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse – was closed by its owners in October 2012 after they claimed the business was no longer profitable.

But the Churchwell Residents’ Group – backed by Hackney Council – launched a campaign to stop developer Mukund Patel from turning the 19th century watering hole into a block of flats.

The pub became Hackney’s first asset of community value (ACV) in March, meaning the owners could not convert the pub into housing or sell it without first offering community groups the chance to buy it.

This decision was appealed by the developer but Hackney Council has today become the first authority in the country to successfully defend an appeal against a decision to list a pub as an ACV.

Mayor Jules Pipe, said: “Our concern all along has been to protect The Chesham Arms from developers and to retain it as a valuable community hub.

“Pubs like the Chesham Arms bring together local residents and help to build close neighbourhoods, and they deserve to be protected. The current owner should either re-open this historic building as a pub or sell it to someone who will.”

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The appeal at Hackney Town Hall in Mare Street, Hackney, was the first of its kind to be heard in the UK since the introduction of ACV listing by the Localism Act in 2011.