London Gets A Test Case


It’s the same old story you’ve heard before, but this time there’s a twist; the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn was being considered for a listing at Grade II heritage status;¬†Historic England said the pub was “remarkably well-preserved externally and internally”. So the owners, Tel Aviv-based development company CLTX, slipped in with the demolition after Westminster council did not approve its plans for the building.

It went from this;


To this:


It’s nothing new; looking around I see this happening every day. But lately people are noticing it more and trying to draw attention to what companies are doing.

If Westminster Council decides that they acted illegally (as they patently did) they could order the company to rebuild the building exactly as it was.

That isn’t what we tend to do in the UK. Unlike say, Poland’s Gdansk, which was stunningly restored to exactly how it had once been, we tend to let developers stick a glass box there anyway. But this case could be the one that finally changes anything.

In the smash-and-grab world of Boris’s new London I don’t hold out much hope, but we’ll have an answer next week.

6 comments on “London Gets A Test Case”

  1. Vivienne says:

    Plenty of publicity about this today, so perhaps the tide is turning. The Council and the listing people seem to be in agreement with the locals, so there may be hope.

  2. Renzo says:

    Until recently, the Carlton Tavern was the Clubhouse for Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club and many a happy post match celebration by both home teams and away teams (of which mine was one) was enjoyed at this wonderful old pub. I can’t think of any other London Hockey Club whose official Clubhouse was in such a unique venue. Another reason why this pub was unique is that it was pretty much the sole survivor when the surrounding buildings in the immediate vicinity were flattened by bombing in WW2. I was therefore mortified when I picked up on this story yesterday and very much hope that Westminster Council will “do the right thing” and make the international vandals who carried out this crime against another part of London’s history rebuild the Carlton Tavern “brick by brick” as is currently being threatened. However, I have my doubts as to whether this will actually take place in my lifetime………………

  3. Helen Martin says:

    It was on our news yesterday and I planned to ask about it here. Hah! Of course Chris is right there on it. The story here was that the decision to impose exact reconstruction had already been made, but I suppose that was a bit of excessively positive thinking on some reporter’s part. We can always hope. The story said that the employees were given a day off and the place was destroyed while they were off.
    The name: my elementary school was named for Sir Guy Carleton, a British officer in the battle for New France, 1759. Now he, apparently, spelled his name with that internal E but everyone else seems to omit the E. Often wondered about that especially since Carlton seems to be popular as a hotel name.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    Is there any news yet as to a decision?

  5. Renzo says:

    Yes Helen – Westminster Council apparently issued an order last nighty against the developers that they must rebuild the Carlton Tavern. A positive step forward, but they must enforce the order if the developers don’t comply – that will be the difficult/expensive step and will test the resolve of the Council. Still, well done on the Order and fingers crossed on the enforcement!

  6. Helen Martin says:

    Hooray, Renzo! I hoped it would happen. If work doesn’t begin promptly local residents could march around the site with placards showing the wording of the restoration order. When are Council elections, or do they take place along with the general one? In any event, Council’s feet could be held to the fire until something happens. So glad to hear this.

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