Bid to list closed Camberwell pub as ‘asset of community value’

Katherine Johnston (05 August, 2020)

The Bear has been closed since 2017

38155Camberwell New Road's The Bear pub (c) Kay Hotchkiss

A boarded up pub in Camberwell could be given ‘asset of community value’ status, giving the community first dibs if it is put up for sale.

The Bear in Camberwell New Road closed its doors in late 2017 after landlords the Wellington Pub Company closed the building to convert its upper floors into flats.

Due to reopen in mid-2018, although still closed renovation work has seen scaffolding removed and its fascia repainted.

The Bear is owned by the Wellington Pub Company

Wellington Pub Company also owns the Hollydale Tavern in Nunhead, currently undergoing an upstairs conversion into flats, and New Cross Gate’s White Hart.

Community group SE5 Forum nominated the pub to become an asset of community value in April, but a decision has yet to be reached due to delays from COVID-19, with many non-urgent projects in a backlog.

Southwark Green Party secretary Resident Tracey Beresford worked on the application and its supporting evidence.  She said the campaign had united people from across the SE5 community: “Pubs bring people together, whatever their political views,” she told the News.

The application needed 21 supporters in order to be submitted to Southwark Council. A call-out saw more than 100 residents get in touch backing the bid.

If successful, an ‘ACV’ listing means the pub’s owners would be required to give the local community the first opportunity to bid to buy it in the event of selling.

The forum sees reopening The Bear as one of the drivers in improving its immediate vicinity and helping to strengthen the business case for reopening Camberwell train station.

In March this year, we detailed how £1.5 million of funding would be put into railway arches on Camberwell Station Road for landscaping to improve the street’s appearance, and to redevelop empty units into commercial business space.

 The News contacted Wellington Pub Company on Monday but had received no response before going to press.

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