Planning application submitted for historic Hoxton boozer holding treasured memories for soccer star David Beckham
PUBLISHED: 14:18 18 April 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
A new planning application to overhaul the historic Hoxton boozer which holds treasured memories to footballer David Beckham was submitted to Hackney Council on Monday.
Hackney Council planners rejected Wenlock LLP’s bid last November to bulldoze the Wenlock Arms in Wenlock Road and replace it with a five-storey block of flats.
Hackney Council said the pub, where football star David Beckham was taken as a child by his grandfather, was a heritage and community asset.
They gave the pub greater protection from demolition by incorporating it into the nearby Regent’s Canal conservation area.
But now Wenlock LLP has submitted another application to replace the upstairs community room - used by groups ranging from the Stammerers’ Society to the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain - with two luxury duplex flats with roof terraces.
Meanwhile the pub would be overhauled with a new kitchen, loos and flooring.
Nearly 1,500 pub regulars and fans have signed a petition against the new plans.
They claim it is not viable to build expensive flats above a working pub because of noise complaints, and fear the plans are a “smokescreen” to obtain planning, and once gained the pub will close.
But Wenlock LLP has asked the council in the planning application to remove “permitted development rights.”
“This will preserve the pub in its present use, such that it cannot be changed into a restaurant or retail shop without a formal planning application in the future, which would of course be resisted by local residents and Wenlock supporters,” said Dale Ingram of ConservationWorks UK, who is working for the developer.
“At present this could of course happen without notice,” she added.
“We hope this will reassure the Wenlock’s many admirers that the pub will remain in pub use.”
But pub regulars are sceptical, fearing the move is a “cynical marketing exercise” which offers no real protection and which could be overturned as a formality by the developers.
Locals held a farewell party on Saturday March 31 when the pub was supposed to close for good. But four days later it reopened under a new landlord.
“We are still diffident and uncertain about what the future holds,” said pub-lover Brian Taylor.
“You can sense the atmosphere as if the old ghosts of the place are in a state of trepidation, but at least it is open and we have maybe eight months to convince the developers they will be making a mistake to proceed with their plans.”