Hackney pub stays as Asset of Community Value after landmark appeal ruling

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Chesham arms Public house Appeal

Landmark ruling retains pub
Landmark ruling retains pub
The Chesham Arms in Hackney, east London, will remain listed as an asset of community value (ACV), after winning a landmark tribunal hearing against the owner of the property.

The judge-led tribunal, which took place at Hackney Town Hall this morning, was the first oral hearing of its kind in the UK concerning an ACV-listed pub. The outcome means the local community could put in a bid to purchase the property if the owner decides to sell it.

The owner of the property, Murkund Patel, appealed the pub’s ACV status on the grounds that a pub business is no longer financially viable on the site. The 150-year-old pub has been closed since October 2012 and is currently fit for use as an office, although is unoccupied.

However, after a two-hour hearing, Judge Nicholas Warren dismissed the appeal and said the building will remain listed.

The decision provoked a round of applause from members of the Save the Chesham Arms campaign group and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), around 50 of whom had rallied outside the Hall prior to the hearing.

Jonathan Sockett, chair of the Save the Chesham Arms campaign, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: “I am elated! It is wonderful to have so much support on a working day and wonderful to have our argument vindicated by the judge.

“Hopefully the outcome will encourage others to save their local pubs and I hope this becomes a milestone as part of our campaign to have another licensed premises in the Chesham Arms.”

James Watson and Martyn Williams, from the Save The Chesham Arms campaign, and representatives of Hackney Borough Council all spoke in defence of the property remaining listed at the hearing.

Prior to the hearing, Watson told the PMA: “A lot of people think pubs close down because they don’t make money; that’s sadly not the case. Certainly in London they tend to close down because the value of running a pub on a premises even in the long-term cannot compete with the value it would be as a block of flats.

“The valuation of the Chesham Arms as a public house is £300,000 – we’ve confirmed that with an independent surveyor. Mr Patel paid £650,000. It is not the community’s fault he didn’t do his homework, yet it is the community that is being made to suffer.”

CAMRA member Ian Short also protested against the appeal. He said: “I’m a roving supporter to keep pubs open rather than turn them into offices or homes, because homes without community centres are just deserts with dwellings.”

Local resident Susan Beringer said: “The Chesham Arms has been a part of my street for 150 years – to lose the pub would be to destroy a part of Hackney’s history.”

The judge will issue the full reasons for his decision in writing in up to three weeks’ time. The Chesham Arms remains the first and only Hackney pub to be ACV-listed.

Related topics Other operators

Related news

Show more