In 2002, Michael Adams wanted to turn the upstairs rooms of his former pub, the Cock Tavern in Walthamstow, into flats in order to create a second income stream for his business.
But he was told this was not possible due to the venue being in a conservation area.
But now planning officers at Waltham Forest LBC have now signed off plans to convert the pub into retail. As the pub was not listed as an Asset of Community Value it was possible to change it from an A4 pub into A1 retail without planning permission.
Speaking to the local newspaper, the Waltham Forest Guardian, Adams said that if his flat plans had been approved, he would never have needed to close the pub.
He said: “I asked if I could build up the back into flats and he said no, it is a conservation area and everything has to stay the same.
“It is double standards. I am quite upset about it.”
Adams was originally informed that the Cock Tavern would always need to remain as a public house – and was provided a £126,000 EU loan to refurbish the building, including a personal contribution of £20,000.
A public house has sat on the site since 1747. Last year, Waltham Forest LBC released a council report on public houses which claimed ‘a significant portion of the public houses in Waltham Forest have some heritage value and are contributing to the character and townscape of their surrounding neighbourhoods.
“Of the 26 locally listed buildings in Waltham Forest that were originally built as public houses, 18 are currently still in business, whilst 8 have closed or been sensitively redeveloped for alternative uses (usually residential).”
It also highlighted the Mayor of London’s commitment to pubs, stating ‘boroughs are encouraged to bring forward policies to maintain, manage enhance public houses.’