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Developer demolishes historic London pub

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Westminster City Council is seeking legal advice after a developer demolished a 1920s public house which was due to be recommended for listing

In January, developer CTLX was refused planning permission to demolish the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn and replace it with a smaller pub and 10 flats.

On Wednesday, planning enforcement officers rushed to the site after receiving a report that the pub was being pulled down.

A statement from the council said: ‘The building’s demolition required the council’s prior approval and as no such approval was sought or obtained, the council will be seeking legal advice concerning whether any future action is legally possible.’

The 1984 Building Act requires six weeks prior notice to be given to the local authority before demolition begins. Demolition work must also comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and a health and safety plan produced by the principal contractor.

The pub was built in 1920-21 for brewery Charrington & Co, probably by architect Frank J Potter.

A spokesperson for Historic England said that the organisation had been intending to recommend the site for listing at grade II, although the culture secretary would have had the final say in making a designation.

‘The site was remarkably well-preserved externally and internally. It displayed the hierarchy of rooms in their fixtures, fittings and decorative treatment and retained all its external signage. Few pubs were built at this date and fewer survive unaltered,’ a spokeswoman said.

A report by planning officers which went before the council’s planning committee in January, said that ‘overall the building retains a generally attractive appearance’ and that its loss would be regrettable.

However, it said that the loss of the building could be considered acceptable ‘subject to a replacement building of comparably high quality’.

Describing the proposed replacement building, designed by Brook Murray Architects, the report said: ‘Whilst contrasting starkly with the early 20th Century design of the existing building, in this area of 1960s and more recent developments the modern styling of the building is considered acceptable on balance.’

However, the plans were turned down because the developer rejected calls to provide funding for affordable housing required by planning policy.

Westminster councillor Jan Prendergast, who lodged an objection to the original planning application, said: ‘This was a lovely pub and I’m sorry to see it go, but I’m more concerned for the residents in Maida Vale for whom they showed no consideration whatsoever.

‘It was the last building standing in Carlton Vale after the World War II bombings.’

The AJ was unable to reach CLTX or the company’s sole director, Tel Aviv lawyer Ori Calif by the time of publication.

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