(Update: The planning meeting was postponed to Tuesday 19 October)
Greenwich Council planners are recommending that councillors approve a planned bar in a former bank at Blackheath Standard – but two influential local groups want the idea thrown out.
In March, The Charlton Champion revealed that Plumstead-based Common Rioters brewery wanted to turn the former Barclays branch, which closed in January, into a “beer café”, which would brew much of its own beer.
The brewery’s application to open The Green Goddess will go before the council’s Greenwich area planning committee next Tuesday. Council officers say that the plan “would bring a vacant commercial building back into use and for a purpose, which is appropriate for a designated retail area”.
Common Rioters’ founders Stephen and Maryann O’Connor have been testing out their ideas with a weekend pop-up pub with the same name at Charlton House. Their brewery’s name comes from the Plumstead Common rioters, whose revolt in 1876 saved the open space from being destroyed by a developer.
While 42 messages of support were received, there were 16 objections, including from the Westcombe Society and Blackheath Society amenity groups.
The Westcombe Society said a bar with no kitchen “may lead to an increase in anti- social behaviour outside residential properties” while there would be “smell and waste from the brewing process”.
Meanwhile, the Blackheath Society said “a ‘wet led’ pub without food seems to be designed to encourage pub crawls and potentially excessive alcohol consumption”.
The group also claimed that the bar would “encourage driving to the site, but as there is no car parking proposed this will lead to more congestion and nuisance in neighbouring streets”.
Another objection from a member of the public claimed that there was “no need for additional commercial activity at the Standard”.
There were also concerns about plans to allow tables outside, but a large fence would be put in place to protect the bar’s next-door neighbour on Vanbrugh Park. Outdoor drinking would not be permitted after 9pm.
Two cycle parking racks would be provided for staff. Transport for London had asked for two racks to be provided for customers, but Greenwich planning officers refused, saying “the provision of cycle spaces for customers (short stay) is not, as ‘drinking and driving’, whether it is in a car or a bicycle is not safe”.
The proposed opening hours would be 10am to 11pm seven days a week, with a midnight closedown on Fridays and Saturdays in December.
Work is already under way on the building to convert the bank’s offices into a two-bedroom flat; there is already a flat on the upper floor.
A final decision is due to be made at Woolwich Town Hall on Tuesday.
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