The authority rejected a planning application to convert the 300-year-old pub and issued an immediate article four direction, preventing the building from being redeveloped into a retail site or a restaurant without full planning consent and without first going to public consultation.
It means locals have until 10 March to submit a response to the conversion proposals.
Property developers Braaid Ventures, which bought the pub last summer, had issued an application for a change of use from a pub to a restaurant, with the eventual aim of converting the site into a six-bedroom house. If approved it would have allowed the conversion without planning permission and prevented it from being challenged at a later date.
Camden Council’s decision is a victory for pub campaigners, who sent more than 200 letters of objection to the authority, along with a petition signed by 1,730 local residents. A separate online petition at change.org attracted over 2,100 signatures.
Guy Wingate, from the Save the Old White Bear group, said: “This case is a very rare example of a London borough council working to protect a community asset, by taking the risk of issuing an immediate article four direction to remove permitted development rights.”
Councillor Phil Jones, Camden Council’s cabinet member for sustainability, transport and planning, said: “The pub plays an important and active role in the community and that is why we’ve taken steps to protect this much-loved site for local residents.”