Last orders have been called on the campaign to save the Half Moon pub’s live music area after Southwark Council granted planning permission for leaseholders Fullers to convert it into a dining area with kitchen.
While the ‘Save the Half Moon’ campaigners welcomed news that the pub’s asset of community value status (ACV) would be retained, despite an application by freeholders Dulwich Estates to remove it, the decision signals an end to the pub’s long history of live entertainment in Half Moon Lane.
U2 and The Police were among the bands to have graced the pub’s stage before the venue was forced to shut following the severe floods in August 2013. While the decision by Fullers to re-open the pub has been welcomed, campaigners are disappointed that they were ultimately successful in neutering the pub’s cultural heritage.
Campaigner Peter Blair told the News: “I think the odds were always against us but I felt we had done everything we could.
“We achieved two great things with this campaign. We retained the ACV status but the other thing was that our community found its voice.”
Various protests have taken place since November, including a ‘pop up concert’ and march, when Fullers announced their intention to convert the stage area.
Peter said: “Since 2013 the pub has laid empty but we found we could make a difference. We have had a dialogue with Fullers and this dialogue will continue. Hopefully we can continue this dialogue and help retain some cultural events. We will work our hardest. This is important.”
A spokesperson for Fullers said: “There has been a lot of focus on live music – and we do understand that there are some in the local community who feel that the pub should bring back live music in dedicated surroundings.
“However, we do not believe that the pub is economically viable with a strong focus on live music and we are not experts in late night entertainment.
“We are, however, experts in superb, well-run pubs that cater for a broad section of the community with an excellent drinks range, delicious, fresh food and outstanding service. This, we believe, will secure the long-term future for the pub, the pub’s employees, our customers and the wider community.”