Save The Winchester Tavern London N6
This petition had 810 supporters
The applicant has continually eroded the public areas, first with the loss of the garden in the original application described in What Pub as “an attractive, shrub-lined, heated outdoor drinking area”. Then in December 2015 permission was granted for a disabled toilet, stairs to the basement and an additional flat on the ground floor which has reduced the size of the front bar area.
The latest application will now see the loss of a further part of the front bar area and all of the rear bar (likely a former saloon bar) which, forms an integral part of the original public house layout and thus contributes to its value as a heritage asset and a community facility. This is damaging to the Winchester’s heritage significance.
The Winchester Tavern is mentioned in the CAMRA Regional Inventory for London: Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest which, describes it as a “spacious public house”. The front bar is a large room with high ceilings and elegant proportions and there is an unusually large bar, which contributes to its character and value as a heritage asset. The feeling of spaciousness will be irreparably lost as the front bar is considerably smaller. Furthermore the applicant has already removed part of the bar and is planning to squeeze seating inside the actual bar area to increase seating capacity.
It has recently been designated as an Asset of Community Value which affords it “some weight” in terms of planning considerations. Local residents and What Pub described it as “Very much a community pub, sponsoring three local league football teams and a darts team and attracting clientele of all age groups.” The pub has high community value which will be threatened by the much reduced floor area.
The basement is not suitable as a public area for patrons of the pub. It is windowless and most of the space is taken up with the toilets, a kitchen and a beer storage area although the applicant has omitted to show the kitchen and beer storage area on the submitted plans.
The applicant has already increased the number of flats for 10 to 11 flats so is already making a significant contribution to housing in Highgate.
We would ask for consideration to be given to the appeal to develop flats in the public areas of the Red Lion Pub in Camden (APP/X5210/A/14/2218740) which, was dismissed. The inspector cited the loss of the “wider flexibility and character offered by the existing form and layout”. In his summary he stated that “I consider that the sum total of these shortcomings would be to compromise the overall value of the site as a community asset which, in terms of extent, would become a secondary element to the predominant and unrelated use of the site as separate residential accommodation. From the evidence before me, there is a distinction to be drawn between the likely community benefits of the replacement A4 use and the community benefits undoubtedly already conferred by the existing public house.
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