Southwark unveils new scheme to protect its pub from developers

Fiona Simpson
Protected pub: The Ivy House in Nunhead: Ewan Munro/Flickr

Southwark has become the second London borough to protect its historic pubs from redevelopment.

Under new rules passed by the borough’s council, pubs cannot be demolished or turned into homes or businesses without consent from councillors and locals.

Southwark Council’s planning committee withdrew development rights from all of the borough’s 188 pubs at a meeting earlier this month.

It means historic watering holes such as the George Inn, at London Bridge, The Ivy House, in Nunhead, and the newly reopened Half Moon, in Herne Hill, are now protected from quick changes of use.

Developers would be forced to go through a full planning process to change the pubs.

Historic boozer: The George Inn at London Bridge (Jon's pics/Flickr)

Councillor Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: "We value the role local pubs play for our residents, and we know that many of them in the borough are well used and much loved by local people.

“As well as supporting local businesses and jobs our pubs play a vital role in the heart of the communities they serve.

“This is why we felt it was important to make sure that the council and local community have a say when pubs are put forward for development, to help ensure that changing the use of pubs only happens in the right circumstances and in the right areas.”

Southwark is the second London borough to make the move, following in the footsteps of Wandsworth Council, which passed the decision in August last year.