The company that owns the freehold to revamped Charlton pub the White Swan has applied for planning permission to build two 3-bedroom houses on part of its beer garden.
Isle of Man-based Mendoza Ltd, which makes its money buying pubs and bars and putting residential developments on the sites, plans to build the homes at the back of the garden and on disused land facing onto Torrance Close, the access road at the rear of The Village.
The strikingly-designed homes would be set back from Torrance Close, overlooking the rest of the pub’s garden.
Mendoza’s application comes just seven weeks after the once-troubled pub was reopened by the team behind the Pelton Arms, who have taken on a new lease on the bar and the accommodation upstairs.
Without the rooms upstairs, it was always likely Mendoza would have its eye on the garden and the disused space at the rear. Documents submitted with the planning application state the company was in discussion with Greenwich Council about work on both the rear of the site and the pub’s upstairs floors, including a new roof.
“The applicant believes that as the public house is in the process of being considered to be added to the list of locally listed buildings and is a much beloved part of the current street scene, it is more beneficial to the local architectural and community’s character to allow more time and consideration before a planning submission is made for the White Swan,” a letter from Bermondsey-based architects Milan Babic says. Milan Babic’s website showcases how it converted the upstairs rooms of the former Brixton pub Brady’s – now a branch of Wahaca – into residential accomodation.
While approving the development would hopefully provide some financial security over the pub’s future, the proximity of the homes to the pub’s beer garden, and even the pub itself, is likely to be of concern. Mendoza has gained a reputation for squeezing out pub operators by placing homes in close proximity to their businesses. The homes are set well back from Torrance Close, even though the development has been designated “car free” and the street sees very little traffic and even fewer pedestrians.
The modern design of the buildings – the homes are in the Charlton Village conservation area – is also likely to ruffle feathers. That said, though, they are of a similar design to homes in Blackheath streets such as Langton Way and Heathway, which are also in a conservation area.
Mendoza’s application can be found on Greenwich Council’s planning website by searching for application 15/2968/F. Comments or objections can be left with the council until 24 November – use the links to comment on the council website, or for longer observations, email planningapps[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk.