Addiscombe councillors and residents who want to keep The Glamorgan on Cherry Orchard Road as a pub serving the community now face a race against time, after the building’s owners yesterday submitted a planning application for the demolition of the Victorian boozer.
Sean Fitzsimons, a Labour councillor for the ward, has arranged for an open meeting at the Town Hall from 7pm on Monday to measure the depth of local feeling for The Glamorgan, which closed its doors last November after nearly 150 years as part of the fabric of the local community.
The meeting will consider applying for the building to be made an Asset of Community Value, perhaps to be run by a local co-operative on a model similar to the successful Hope pub, which the community in Carshalton rescued with such success. Fitzsimons yesterday held a meeting with the people who run The Hope.
And at least one London-based pub operator is known to be interested The Glamorgan, sited close to East Croydon Station and now surrounded by hundreds of new flats and apartments being built as part of Redrow Menta’s (slow-to-ripen) Morello developments.
“I’m hoping the council’s new pub policy will give us the breathing space,” Fitzsimons told Inside Croydon. “Or at least give us enough to stop the demolition.
“The emerging planning policy means we have 18 months to raise the cash, if necessary. Plus, the owner has to sell at public house market price.”
Fitzsimons was a key figure in drafting the council’s pub policy.
At the moment, it looks like this:
Policy DM22: Protecting public houses
The Council will not grant planning permission for the demolition or change of use of a public house, unless the Council is satisfied that there is not a defined need for a public house.
Even where the Council is satisfied that there is not a defined need for the public house, the Council must be satisfied that:
a. The loss of the public house would not result in a shortfall of local public house provision of this type;
b. That the public house is no longer considered economically viable when considered against the CAMRA’s Public House Viability Test; and
c. The public house has been marketed as a public house, at a market rate for public houses, for a consistent period of 18 months.
How the policy works
7.18 Proposals involving the loss of a public house will need to demonstrate that there is not a defined need for a public house.
7.19 A defined need can be demonstrated in no particular order of preference by:
a. The public house being statutorily Listed;
b. The public house being Locally Listed;
c. The public house being a non-designated heritage asset;
d. The public house having other local contextual significance;
e. There being sustained and documented local objection to the loss of the public house; and
f. The public house being used for a wider variety of ancillary uses such as functions, social events and other community activities.
7.20 The Council will resist the loss of these facilities unless it can be demonstrated that is no longer required in its current use. Evidence will be required to show that the loss would not create, or add to, a shortfall in provision for the public house and demonstrate that there is no demand for such a use on the site. This would include the submission of evidence of suitable marketing activity for a period of eighteen months. In the event that a public house is listed on the Assets of Community Value register and is offered for sale, the local community is given six months to prepare a bid to buy it. In such circumstances
the marketing statement could be reduced to a period of a minimum continuous period of twelve months in addition to the six months that the community has to prepare a bid to buy it. This evidence should demonstrate that the existing use is no longer financially viable through the submission of financial evidence.
Marketing details need to include a site description, photographs and reasonable terms commensurate with public house use. In cases where a public house use has ceased it has to be successfully demonstrated that there is no local need or demand.
That policy is still being moulded, as part of the recent inspection meetings over the Croydon Local Plan. According to one council official, “The planning inspector has indicated that the policy will be modified to emphasise more strongly the social value of pubs.” That ought to favour the Addiscombe locals who want to save their local.
And the main thrust of the policy – that the building will need to be marketed for 18 months and to have been considered against the Public House Viability Test, as laid out by the Campaign for Real Ale, will not change.
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