Protesters demand historic Kilburn pub Carlton Tavern is rebuilt
- Credit: Archant
Residents surrounding a historic pub in Kiburn demolished by its owners without permission held a protest yesterday demanding it is rebuilt.
Campaigners for the former Carlton Tavern pub in Carlton Vale, gathered at the site to urge Westminster Council to hold the owners to account and to launch their petition, Rebuild the Carlton.
The community is still in shock after owners CLTX had the pub bulldozed on April 8 despite the council rejecting their application to knock it down and replace it with a new pub and flats.
John Simmance, who organised the protest, said: “We are asking the council to demand those property speculators to rebuild the pub. “We are concerned and angry about what’s happening. Not only must they throw the book at the developers, they have to tell them to rebuild it.”
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David Samson, 58, lived at the pub from 1968 until 1978 while his father Harry was landlord.
“There was my grandmother’s room, there was the kitchen,” he said, pointing to an empty space now reduced to rubble. “This was a special family pub, with an emphasis on family. It’s part of my history, local history and English Heritage history.”
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The building, sold to CLTX last year, was bombed during World War 1 and was rebuilt in 1920 by brewery Charrington & Co.
It survived World War II bombings and had been recommended for a Grade II listing by Historic England, previously known as English Heritage - a decision was pending.
Arvind Damarla, who lives in Carlton Vale, said: “I feel shocked. You hear the news about other countries - bulldozers knock down housing in the West Bank, it feels like that. It’s not the local authorities doing it here, it’s the builders, but it’s quite sad to see, The company should lose its licence to operate.”
Anastacia Toone, from St John’s Wood, said: “We think it’s disgusting. We came as a family every week after my son played football on Paddington Rec.
Four generations of my family have been coming here.”
Cllr Rita Begum, Labour councillor for Maida Vale, said: “I’ve been shocked about the whole thing. I’m outraged it was done without any warning. I’m supporting the community and have signed their petition.”
Cllr Vincenzo Rampulla, Labour councillor for Church Street, said: “My worry is we will see more and more incidents like this if they (CLTX) get away with this.”
Murad Qureshi, London Assembly Member for the Labour Party said: “Westminster is one of those councils which is very keen on its enforcement powers and making sure developers get the right message. They will want to be seen to be flexing their muscles.”
Westminster Council officials have said they are seeking legal advice on this ‘unprecedented case’ and are ready to ‘throw the book’ at the owners.
A spokesman said: “The Planning Enforcement Team is liaising with Historic England in relation to this matter and the advice provided by Historic England will help to determine the appropriate course of action. A recommendation will go to a planning committee in the next month to discuss what action can be taken.”
The issue will be raised at a full council meeting on Wednesday at Porchester Hall, Porchester Road, Bayswater.
The Times has been unable to contact CLTX.