Shortly after the news broke that Andrew and Mary Jane Fishwick, owners of the award-winning pub, had closed the business after being told they would have to pay £250,000 per year (up from £75,000) in rent as well as approximately £330,000 in backdated debt, a petition was launched to save the pub.
‘Heart of Maida Vale’
Local resident Giorgia Robson, who started the petition, wrote: “The Truscott Arms is at the heart of Maida Vale, it brings the whole community together as one and you’ve got to admit it has the best Sunday roasts around.
“Because of the Truscott and the owners, I have settled into Maida Vale as a home, and without it Maida Vale just won’t be the same. It is a successful and thriving pub, and shouldn’t be forced to shut down because of an unreasonable landlord.”
As well as winning accolades for its food and wine, the Truscott was listed as an asset of community value last year after Mary Jane Fishwick led a campaign to protect the historic pub from development.
Yesterday evening (5 August), Westminster’s Labour councillors announced they would back community efforts to save the pub.
Councillor for the Westbourne ward of Westminster, Adam Hug, said: “With no pub likely to be able to pay anything close to £250,000 per year, residents understandably fear that despite the Truscott’s well-deserved ACV status, this may be the start of an attempt by the pub’s owners to convert the building to luxury flats.”
The Morning Advertiser (MA) understands Cllr Hug has written to Westminster Council chief executive, Charlie Parker, and executive director for growth, planning and housing, Ed Watson, calling for urgent action by the local authority.
His letter reaffirmed that, despite having an ACV, the supposed value of the site would make it challenging to achieve a community purchase and urged for “a strong and urgent public steer” so the council would not support a change of use from pub to residential.
Cllr Hug added: Westminster council must come out quickly and clearly to reconfirm its support of the ACV status and stand with residents who will resists any attempt to convert this wonderful pub into more unwanted luxury flats.
“Labour councillors will stand with local residents to fight this destructive act and try to save the Truscott Arms.”