Iconic ‘illegally destroyed’ pub set to reopen in April

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

New lease of life: after six years, the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn will reopen its doors again after it was 'illegally demolished'
New lease of life: after six years, the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn will reopen its doors again after it was 'illegally demolished'

Related tags Property Carlton tavern Westminster city council Westminster London

A historic London pub, which was ‘illegally knocked down’ six years ago is planning to reopen this spring.

The Carlton Tavern in Kilburn, north west London, was demolished in 2015. A planning inspector then ruled in favour of Westminster City Council, ordering developers CLTX to rebuild the pub "brick by brick".

The five-day enquiry took place in May 2016, after the developers tried to fight an enforcement order the council originally placed on it to rebuild the pub – with evidence heard from local campaign groups, residents, councillors and Historic England.

Appeal documents submitted to the council by CLTX stated it was not aware they should have sought permission before knocking the building down.

The planning inspector dismissed the appeals lodged by the developers and ruled in favour of the council,​ giving CLTX two years to rebuild the pub.

Order to rebuild

At the time, the council said the pub was being considered for Grade II-listing and the inspector agreed it was “highly likely it would have been listed had it not been demolished”.

The council served an enforcement notice to the developers, requiring the rebuilding of the community pub “brick by brick”.

Work to rebuild the pub began in August 2017. In January of this year, The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​) reported the pub was set to reopen in 2021, subject to coronavirus restrictions, after new leaseholders were found​.

In 2019, The MA ​reported the battle to rebuild the pub was still ongoing after the developers did not comply with the council’s enforcement order to restore it within two years following its demolition.

Reopening date

At that time, Westminster City Council cabinet member for place shaping and planning Richard Beddoe said: “We are encouraged [that] construction is ongoing at the Carlton Tavern site.

“It has been a long battle to ensure the pub is rebuilt brick by brick. However, it is also clear our enforcement notice, insisting work was completed within two years, has not been complied with and, as such, we are considering whether any further action should be taken.

“It would not be appropriate for the council to comment any further at present.”

On 10 March 2021, a post on the Rebuild the Carlton Tavern Facebook pages said: “Opening date confirmed 12 April 2021.

“Covid restrictions apply uryyb@pneygbagnirea.pb.hx​. Big thank you for all the support along the journey, my job has now been complete. Over to you….the community.”

Westminster City Council cabinet member for business, licensing and planning, Matthew Greene said the local authority had been working towards reopening the Carlton Tavern as a pub from the day it was illegally knocked down.

He added: "With works nearing completion, I am pleased to say the Carlton Tavern will soon be ready to return to its rightful place at the heart of the community.

“As hospitality venues get ready to reopen their door again this spring, the rebuilt Carlton Tavern delivers a message of hope, but also a warning to developers that Westminster Council will not tolerate the kind of vandalism that led to the pub’s demolition in the first place.  

“I hope I will soon be able to join locals for their first post-lockdown pint in the newly rebuilt Carlton Tavern.”

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