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Save the Gladstone!! 


Sadly the developers have put their eyes on demolishing the Gladstone Arms. The local pub and independent music venue! They propose to replace it with a 10 story tower with single flats on each floor (you can see below). 

We are meeting today (Wednesday 12th Aug) at the Lord Clyde Pub (27 Clennam Street) to discuss ways to fight this. The soul is slowly being ripped out of the area and the Gladstone along with a few other community spaces are all under threat. 

Please do join us tonight. (If you can bear to read further more details are after the picture!)

View of the proposed tower from Sanctuary Street!
Proposed drawings of the 10 story tower with a single flat per floor!

Besides being wholly unsuitable in height and nature to the area, the developers suggest tearing down a great building to replace it with a soulless tower of little merit to the neighbourhood.

Please voice your objections first to the planning council (Ref: 15/AP/3137). The more objections they receive, the more Southwark planning have to pay attention. You must say in your letter that you Object otherwise it is taken purely as a comment not as an objection to the plans.

Also tweet your objections #savetheglad and also @southwarkcouncil along with any media outlets you can. Furthermore - tell your friends!!! ( & musicians who might have played their too!). The more noise we can make the better. 

Here are a few tips of what you can say in your letter (thanks to Meera and Adam). Please edit to your preference as it is always better not submitted as a form letter!).

I would like to register an objection to this application (15/AP/3137) for the demolition of the Gladstone Arms on Lant Street and the erection of a ten storey, predominantly residential, building.

I ask that the Borough consider the following two points in their assessment of this application.

First, that good pubs are important community assets that cater to a broad clientele with a diverse range of needs. The Gladstone is a hub of the community where people gather with friends, enjoy food and live music, and run into neighbours for a chat.

Last year, Steve O’Connell, London Assembly Member, published a report (with unanimous agreement of the Assembly) ‘Keeping Local: How to save London’s pubs as community resources’. In it, he calls for London’s boroughs to adopt stringent criteria when considering the redevelopment or demolition of pubs.

The latest edition of the London Plan (March 2015) recognises this call to action and encourages boroughs to develop policies to ‘protect’ as well as ‘retain, manage and enhance’ public houses.

4.48A The Mayor recognises the important role that London’s public houses can play in the social fabric of communities (see also Policy 3.1B) and recent research highlights the rapid rate of closures over the past decade and the factors behind these. To address these concerns, where there is sufficient evidence of need, community asset value and viability in pub use, boroughs are encouraged to bring forward policies to retain, manage and enhance public houses.

I would argue it is very clear that The Gladstone Arms is needed, has community asset value and is a viable pub use; so I call for it to be retained and protected. The A3/A4 use on ground floor of the proposed building is not sufficient to supplant what is there.

Southwark should remember the recent community resistance to plans to develop The Elephant and Castle Pub and the Thomas A Becket Pub.
Second, the area of which The Gladstone Arms is part has significant heritage value that should be retained and enhanced.
The Gladstone Arms itself is a handsome early-mid nineteenth century building that is well detailed and incorporates many traditional features of special interest. Lant Street is of great historic value, featuring heavily in Dickens’ life and writing. Between the pub and Borough High Street is one of the only remaining parts of this street with any character and value.

Southwark conducted two Character Area Appraisals of the area: ‘Borough High Street’ and ‘South of Union Street and North of Borough Road’ in 2007.

The former acknowledges that the lower section of Borough High Street has “suffered from the intrusion of modern development”.

The latter, is far more detailed in its description of and recommendations for the area:

The Gladstone Arms (64 Lant Street) is described as a building of “special interest” and “high architectural merit, that contributes to the character and appearance of the character area”. The report contains a call for 64 Lant Street to be listed individually as a building of local architectural or historic interest.
Of Lant Street – in particular the junction on which the pub sits: “Modern development located along this street is mediocre and lacks the interest and vitality of its historic neighbours. Buildings also range in height along Lant Street.

“The tallest buildings include the thirteen storey residential tower associated with Redman House Council Estate and the recently constructed seven-storey building located over land situated at 52 Lant Street. Due to its overall mass, height and bulk, the latter development has an overbearing appearance on the small-scale buildings currently adjoining the site.”

The proposed building in application 15/AP/3137 would surely also fall in to this category.

I call for this application to be rejected and The Gladstone Arms to be formally listed as an asset of community value.

We look forward to meeting you tonight. 


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