Campaigners celebrate as Chesham Arms set to reopen

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

The Chesham Arms will reopen this summer
The Chesham Arms will reopen this summer

Related tags: Chesham arms, Public house

Hackney residents are celebrating the news that the Chesham Arms will reopen this summer as an ‘old fashioned East End boozer.’

Andy Bird, a Hackney-based publican, has signed a 15 year lease with owner Mukund Patel and started on refurbishment works to the bar after it was used as an unauthorised flat.

Campaign chairman Jonathan Sockett said: “This is fantastic news and we wish the new operator all the best. We are delighted that a pub built when these streets were first laid out around 150 years ago can now continue to provide a warm welcome to local people for decades to come. After nearly 1,000 days closed, we are very much looking forward to our first pint back in the Chesham Arms.

Social fabric

Local resident and CAMRA London pub protection officer James Watson added: “This shows what can be achieved when local people work together with the council. The story of the Chesham Arms should act as a warning to other property developers that pubs should not be used as lucrative development opportunities, but an important part of the social fabric of our cities.”

“Hackney council have done sterling work in standing up to this developer and the neighbourhood never gave up on our pub.”

A further layer of protection was added to the pub in the form of an Article 4 direction​ earlier this year, which will prevent any future changes to the pub’s use without planning permission.

The Chesham Arms has been closed since 2012. Locals fought a long battle against developers who appealed repeatedly against Hackney Council’s ruling that the pub could not be turned into flats.  

Related topics: Property law

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1 comment

Victory indeed

Posted by david,

What an illustration of how community spirit can fight property development destroying a valued community asset.

Moving forward, the community needs to support Andy the licensee so Andy can make a decent living as well as him then being able to give the property landlord a reasonable return on his investment.

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