Pubs in Queen’s Park and Tooting have been listed as Assets of Community Value.
The Corrib Rest, previously the Aras na Gael centre and an important hub for the Irish community in North West London, was closed for refurbishment by the pub’s new owners in February. When residents became aware that it could be redeveloped, the Queen’s Park Residents Association submitted the ACV application.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Housing and Development said: “I am delighted that the Corrib Rest has been listed as an Asset of Community Value and will continue to serve the local community as a venue for weddings, classes and socialising. It is important that we preserve the heritage and character of the borough by protecting spaces that act as hubs for our wonderfully diverse communities.”
Meanwhile, Wandsworth Council has conferred ACV status on The Selkirk pub in Tooting.
Last month Wandsworth Council announced it would be trying to make it more difficult for developers to close pubs and turn the buildings over to other usesby issuing ‘Article 4 Directions’ for 121 pubs which would mean owners would need to apply for permission before knocking them down or changing them into something else such as a supermarket or estate agent. The Selkirk is on that list too.
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “People in Tooting who know and love this valued local pub will be relieved that a potentially dark cloud has been lifted and that The Selkirk now faces a much brighter future with the unwelcome threat of redevelopment much diminished.
“Local people made a compelling case that The Selkirk should be given ACV status because of the positive contribution it makes to the area. Our decision means that the building cannot be sold without the local community being given the chance to buy it.
“This is part of a much wider strategy we have in place to protect the borough’s pubs from being turned into supermarkets or estate agents. We have drawn up a list of more than 120 that we feel should be given enhanced levels of protection.
“Wandsworth is the first council in the country to apply these planning powers on such a wide scale. We believe this is an effective way of helping to preserve many of our much loved local neighbourhood pubs.”
ACV listing gives local residents a six month window in which to raise sufficient funds to purchase it. Although the owner does not have to sell to a community group, the ACV listing improves the chances of local grassroots organisations being able to raise the necessary funds by effectively triggering a six month moratorium on the sale.