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UNIT to replace Brixton pub with new homes

UNIT Architects has won planning permission to convert an iconic Victorian pub into a 3,563m² apartment block - despite fierce opposition from the local community

The proposals to develop the site of the Canterbury Arms public house in Canterbury Crescent, off Brixton Road were approved by Lambeth Council despite protestations from a local amenity group and 1,300 e-petitioners.

The pub, which boasts an early Victorian interior, will be turned into a nine-storey residential led building encompassing 31 flats and ground level ‘glazed shop fronts’, while the residential community garden will be based on a ‘micro-London Square’ typology.

However, Bill Linskey, chair of the Brixton Society, opposes the £7 million scheme which is due to complete in April 2016, and fears the new housing would only be within reach of the well-heeled and wealthy investors and could result in empty premises.

‘The Brixton Society opposes the loss of this thriving local pub which dates from the 1850s and predates the railway coming to Brixton,’ he told the AJ. ‘It’s well preserved inside [Victorian features], there’s plenty of custom and it’s going to housing for no better reason than that’s where there’s money to be made.’

Proposals also include using a floor tile from the pub to line the residential entrance lobby, providing a link back to the site’s past, PV panels to help with the building’s energy strategy, and a rooftop habitat for local wildlife.

Unit Architect partner Ross Hutchinson described the site as ‘an important gateway into the wider East Brixton Regeneration Arc area.’

‘By being the first scheme to secure approval in this strategic regeneration location, we hope our scheme will set the tone and quality of design for others to follow,’ he said.

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