Thursday 25 June 2015

Officials halt plans to turn Elephant and Castle pub into a branch of Foxtons

Two historic south London pubs have been given a stay of execution, halting plans to auction one off for nearly £2 million and turn the other into a Foxtons.
The Elephant and Castle and Thomas A Becket establishments in Southwark have been listed as assets of community value following a joint intervention by the council and local heritage group the Walworth Society, calling time on plans for redevelopment.

The moves means the community now have a period of time in which to express interest in clubbing together to buy the pubs - both of which were shut after violent incidents.
Squatters took over the two-century-old Elephant and Castle, after its closure in March because a customer was stabbed in the head with a pen, in protest at proposals to turn the venue into a Foxtons estate agent.
But Southwark Council's decision to list the property under the Localism Act 2011 means that any change of use will have to go through its planning committee, making it unlikely the venue will become an estate agents.

The Thomas A Becket, a key site in the histories of both British sport and rock music, had been set for auction with a guide price just shy of £2 million when the council stepped in at the eleventh hour on Monday.
No public sale can now be made for at least six weeks in order to give community groups an opportunity to express interest in buying it, Southwark Council said.
Cabinet member for regeneration and new homes Cllr Mark Williams said: "Both pubs are of local historic interest and we want them to stay in use for local residents and visitors alike.
He added: "Both pubs have strong potential to continue playing a part in their neighbourhoods, and I am very pleased that we have been able to work with local communities and the Walworth Society to give these pubs a chance for the future."
The Walworth Society's Jeremy Leach said: "[We] are delighted at this news as nearly all of our pubs have been lost at the Elephant and Castle and along the Old Kent Road.
"Recognising these pubs as community assets can help make sure that residents and visitors alike will have places to go to enjoy themselves and get a real sense of two places which are at the heart of the story of south London and a huge part of its identity."
The first floor of the Thomas A Becket in Old Kent Road has a place in boxing legend as the location of the gym used by former heavyweight champion Sir Henry Cooper. It also played a role in Britain’s musical heritage, with its second floor being used as a rehearsal space for David Bowie’s seminal 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.