Campaigners fighting to save a much-loved Borough boozer are raising a glass after securing ‘Asset of Community Value’ status – but supporters are being urged to “continue the fight.”
The Gladstone in Lant Street is currently under threat of demolition, after developers submitted a planning application to build a tower of flats on the site.
However, its new ACV status will be a major point of consideration for Southwark Council’s planning committee, who will meet to discuss the application once all objections from residents have been submitted.
Chloe Beeney, of the Save The Gladstone Arms and Boroughood campaign groups, said she was ‘delighted’ that the watering hole had obtained ACV status.
She said: “Whilst it is only the first step in the fight to save this community institution from offshore property developers, it puts us in a much stronger position. More importantly, it is recognition of the importance of the Gladstone and other pubs like it to communities all across London.
“I’m half-American, and sometimes it takes an outsider to appreciate pub culture. The French have café culture, the Germans have beer house culture and the British have pub culture. It’s more than just a place to get bladdered, it’s a social hub. I don’t even really drink.”
However, she made clear that achieving ACV status was “just the first hurdle.” She said: “Even now the council could just say, ‘that’s all well and good but the flats will still be worth more and we’ll knock down the pub anyway’. This is just the first hurdle – we still really need to force it to the council.”
Steve Silcock, chair of the south-east London branch of Campaign for Real Ale, co-ordinated the pub’s AVC application. He described the new status as a “huge boost” and urged other punters across London to apply for their own pubs too.
Chloe and Steve are asking supporters to send in objections to the planning application, which can be made on the council’s planning portal. Already nearly 350 people have submitted comments – you can add your own by visiting southwark.gov.uk/planning and searching the portal using 15/AP/3137.