Openings

Fuller's plans for closed former music venue given go-ahead

By Emily Sutherland contact

- Last updated on GMT

The pub was closed following flood damage
The pub was closed following flood damage

Related tags: Half moon, Nightclub, London borough of southwark

Southwark council have given the green light to Fuller’s plans to renovate former live music venue the Half Moon in Herne Hill, south-east London.

The pub company has come under fire from local campaigners fighting to reopen the pub - which has been closed for more than two years - as a music venue after it submitted a planning application proposing that the area for music be removed and replaced with a larger kitchen.

‘Substantial investment’

Southwark council, however, approved the plans at a meeting held yesterday (5 April 2016.)

Fuller’s has argued that it will be making a substantial investment in the Half Moon and aims to ‘create a wonderful pub the local community can be proud of’, adding that it would walk away from buying the pub’s leasehold if the planning application was refused.

In its planning application Fuller’s said: “The pub industry has developed such that pubs struggle to continue profitable trading on bar sales alone. Most successful pubs now need to have a considered food offer.

"Therefore, in addition to hotel rooms, kitchen and restaurant areas to the rear of the ground floor are proposed in place of the previous live music area to ensure the success of the Half Moon.”

‘Limited’ options for live performance

Local Peter Blair, who led the campaign to reopen the pub as live music venue, said: “We will take stock in the coming days and continue to negotiate on the best possible outcome for live performances at the Half Moon, albeit with the limited options available to us. We will continue to ask Fuller’s to be mindful of the asset of community value status of the Half Moon, but we did gain a minor concession in terms having no fixed furniture in the main area of the back room. Can we still hold live music and comedy in the pub? Not in the manner we were accustomed to. I am sorry that we could not achieve more.”

A spokesperson from Fullers said: “We are absolutely delighted. The Half Moon is a gem of a pub and we are very excited about restoring it to its former glory. The next step is to hire a top class general manager who will work with the local community and continue to engage with the local groups we have already met with, to build an iconic pub that has a broad appeal and is a centrepiece for Herne Hill.”

Fuller’s hopes to have the pub reopened by early autumn. Southwark Council also voted to uphold the Half Moon’s asset of community value listing, which was being challenged by owners Dulwich Estates, earlier this week. 

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