Carlton Tavern

Decision on illegally demolished pub must "set a deterrent"

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Decision on illegally demolished pub must "set a deterrent"

Related tags: Carlton tavern, English heritage

A public inquiry into a pub which was demolished illegally has come to a close with campaigners fearing a decision not to enforce the rebuilding of the pub could set a precedent for further demolitions.

At the time the pub was demolished, the Carlton Tavern was being considered for Grade II listed status by Historic England, and was reduced to rubble without permission.

Westminster Council refused the retrospective application last April and put an enforcement notice on the developer to rebuild the pub.

Developers CLTX appealed both of the council’s moves, but the pub has also been granted asset of community value status - despite being rubble.

The Friends of the Carlton Tavern fought for the rebuilding of the venue at the hearing last week, and a decision will be made about its future in the next seven weeks.


According to the Kilburn Times​, who were at the enquiry, Stephen Wilcox, a former government lawyer, criticised CLTX owner Ori Calif: “The appellant knew planning permission to demolish had been refused and that listing of the premises was a possibility but decided to take matters into his own hands to avoid the financial implications of the premises being listed. The appeal against enforcement order should be refused.”

Another said the case should “act as a deterrent” and “deter potential criminals from violating the law so that the rest shall hear and be daunted”.

One nearby resident has raised fears the case could “create a precedent” for further demolitions.


Campaigner Chris Bryce told the West End Extra​: “Does this mean now, that companies, however temporary, can go in and destroy buildings, wreck them, after they have been refused planning permissions? It is an outrage.”

And Saira Kabir Sheikh QC, representing the council, branded CLTX’s actions as “morally repugnant”, according to reports.

CLTX’s lawyers said the actions were regrettable, but gave counter argument that the pub had already been through two evolutions in the 19th​ and 20th​ centuries, and new plans for the venue would provide a 21st​ century pub.

The group has insisted the pub should not be rebuilt

Rupert Warren QC, representing CLTX, claimed the pub’s heritage and townscape value had been overstated by the council in its evidence, and identical rebuilding of the pub is not feasible, and any attempt would be merely a ghost or clone of the original.

Related topics: Property law

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