Locals celebrate as pub closed for almost three years reopens

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Locals fought for almost three years to reopen the pub
Locals fought for almost three years to reopen the pub

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Hackney’s the Chesham Arms opened its doors to the public last week for the first time in almost three years after being saved from the brink of redevelopment by locals.

The Save the Chesham group successfully fought a lengthy battle against developer Mukund Patel, who wanted to turn the pub into flats. 

Staff had just two months to transform the 150-year-old building, which had been being used as office space, back into a much-loved boozer.

New owner Andy Bird predicted a bright future for the Chesham and hoped its success would inspire other communities to fight harder to save their local pubs.

“It’s a beautiful pub, with a big garden and fireplaces. We’re going to try and do the building justice with a very good food and drink offering. It’s a pub saved from the onward march of development and hopefully the start of a movement that will save more pubs.”

Bar manager Joe Gooding added: “It’s been a crazy rush to get the pub to where we wanted it to be but it’s been well worth it.”

The newly refurbished pub will stock specialist gins alongside real ales and beers brewed in London.

The Chesham Arms was one of the first pubs in the UK to be protected with an Article 4 Direction as part of the campaign to save it, which means developers must apply for planning permission before they can change the use of the building.

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