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Campaigners delighted as reconstruction work finally begins on Maida Vale pub the Carlton Tavern

PUBLISHED: 15:14 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:21 02 August 2017

Local campaigners celebrate in March when it was firt signalled that work would begin to restore the Carlton Tavern. Pic credit: Adam Tiernan Thomas

Local campaigners celebrate in March when it was firt signalled that work would begin to restore the Carlton Tavern. Pic credit: Adam Tiernan Thomas

© Adam Tiernan Thomas

Work has begun on the reconstruction of a beloved pub knocked down illegally by its owners.

The Carlton Tavern, as it was being demolishedThe Carlton Tavern, as it was being demolished

The owners of the Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale sparked fury both locally and nationally when they demolished the interwar pub in April 2015, with no prior warning or permission to do so, and shortly before Historic England was likely to decide to list the building.

In June of that year, Westminster Council ordered the site’s freeholders to rebuild the pub brick-for-brick. Since then, activists have demanded that reconstruction begin – and work is now, at last, underway.

Since the beginning of last week, the architects appointed by the owners have been clearing the rubble and debris that has occupied the site since the Carlton Tavern’s abrupt demise. Reconstruction of the pub in facsimile is expected to start once the site is cleared.

“Activity at the site will be monitored by the City Council’s planning enforcement team to ensure the requirements of the enforcement notice are complied with,” Council planning officer Lee Douglas wrote in a letter to councillors.

Owners CLTX have attracted further opprobrium locally regarding another landmark former pub in the area, the Chippenham in Maida Hill, which the developers are understood also to own. Since being bought in 2015, the building has undergone a notable decline, with steel shutters installed on the ground-floor façade and a pane of glass falling from an upper-floor window. Last month Westminster Council issued a planning enforcement order requiring the building’s freeholders to arrest the decline, marking a victory for local campaigners; CLTX remain unavailable for comment.

“This is a big step in our campaign to undo the damage caused by the illegal demolition of the Carlton Tavern,” said Daniel Astaire, Westminster City Council cabinet member for planning, “Westminster City Council has stood side-by-side with residents to demand that this pub be rebuilt brick-by-brick and I look forward to seeing the Carlton Tavern standing once again.

“Today is a just reward for the work of all the local campaigners who have fought for this building to be restored. I hope our campaign sends a clear message to developers across the country that they cannot ride roughshod over the views of local communities.”

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