Plans to build a house at the back of the White Swan pub are to go before a planning committee next Tuesday – with officers recommending councillors approve the scheme.
Mendoza Ltd, the property company that owns the pub, wants to build a three-bedroom bungalow on land behind the beer garden – taking a strip off the beer garden to build an access path so council bin lorries can take away its rubbish from the front of the pub.
It is the company’s fourth attempt to build on the land since it bought the freehold from Punch Taverns in March 2015. The pub itself has been closed since March, but the company has said it will look for a new tenant.
There were nine objections, including from the Charlton Society. Planning officers are recommending an acoustic fence is put up to shield the house from the pub’s noise, while a tree in the beer garden should be replaced.
The officers say that “the area of pub garden retained would continue to provide usable outdoor space for patrons and would be proportional in size to the pub gardens of surrounding pubs”. They add: “The existing area of pub garden space is not integral to the overall viability of the White Swan because the significant and high quality internal facilities and the nature of the food and drink offering are also key selling points of the pub.”
“The development of part of the pub garden of The White Swan would maintain the viability of the pub and would provide a high quality residential development which would preserve the amenity of neighbour properties as well as the character and appearance of the Charlton Village Conservation Area,” officers conclude.
A first attempt at development, to build two homes, in October 2015, was thrown out by Greenwich Council planners. That decision was upheld by a planning inspector. A second attempt was rejected earlier in 2017. The third attempt, for one three-bedroom house, was rejected by council planners in December 2017 and again by a planning inspector in January. This scheme was submitted a year ago; the closed pub was made an asset of community value in July.
The Woolwich and Thamesmead planning committee meeting begins at 6.30pm on Tuesday 22 September and can be watched on YouTube.