Camden Council steps in to protect 'valued' community pub

By Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Camden council London

The Golden Lion in Camden has been protected by an article four direction
The Golden Lion in Camden has been protected by an article four direction
For the second time in as many months a north London council has invoked planning powers to make it more difficult for developers to close a community pub.

Camden Council issued an article four direction for the Golden Lion, meaning the outlet — which is also listed as an asset of community value — cannot be redeveloped into a retail site, restaurant, or used for financial or business purposes without full planning consent and a public consultation. The notice lasts for six months.
Publican Dave Murphy took over the lease of the late Victorian pub in 1978, but for the past two years has been fighting developers Norreys Barn, which bought the freehold in 2011 and originally wanted to convert the site into eight self-contained flats.

Community hub

The 1890s premises was the subject of a full planning application last year, which was rejected by council planners on the basis that the pub served a ‘community function’.  That decision was appealed to the Government’s planning inspector, which was dismissed last December.
A further full application has been made by Norreys Barn to reduce the size of the pub and replace the upstairs function room with flats.
The developers have also requested a certificate of lawfulness, allowing the basement and ground floors to be changed from a pub to A2 use (financial and professional services) but the applications have yet to be decided.
Actors Sean Bean and Richard Wilson are among the high-profile figures who have expressed their support to save the pub.

Costly conversions

“Pubs such as the Golden Lion play an important role in local communities, yet we see more and more converted into expensive flats against local people’s wishes,” said Councillor Phil Jones, Camden Council’s cabinet member for transport, sustainability and planning.
“I’m pleased we’ve been able to step in to provide some protection for the Golden Lion and congratulate the campaigners who have been working to save their local. Camden Council will continue to do all it can through planning legislation to protect valued assets.”
An article four direction was first issued by the authority in February, to protect the Old White Bear in Hampstead, north-west London, from being turned into a six-bedroom house.

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