Greenwich Council alerted after White Swan ceiling collapse

The White Swan
The White Swan has been unused since March 2020. Six Nations rugby flags are still on display

Greenwich Council is investigating after part of the ceiling appeared to have collapsed at the White Swan pub, which is owned by property developers and has been closed for more than two years.

The council says it is looking into the issue after reports that people were seen moving into the upper floor of the pub amid fears that it could be being deliberately damaged.

While the town hall says it accepts that someone may live on site for security purposes, its inspectors were due to visit on Monday to look at the situation.

A quantity of plaster has fallen from the ceiling into the bar, which has not been used since March 2020. The pub closed just before the first lockdown, after a lengthy battle to pay the rent demanded by the Isle of Man-based property developer Mendoza, which bought the freehold from Punch Taverns for £900,000 in 2015.

White Swan interior
Plaster has fallen into the area by the women’s toilet

The ground floor and basement of the pub have been on the market since August 2020albeit at £40,000/year rent. No application has been made to change the use of the upstairs floors, which were used as function rooms.

The following November planning permission was given for a house on land behind the pub, which would occupy some of the beer garden. Mendoza later told Greenwich Council that the house would be built between June and October last year, but no work has begun.

A Greenwich Council spokesperson told The Charlton Champion on Monday evening: “We received a complaint in February 2021 about the space above the pub being used for residential purposes. Following investigation at the time we established that there was a pre-existing occupied flat there but that this was lawful and helpful in deterring any unauthorised entry and occupation.

“The ground floor at that time was not occupied for residential use. The officer concluded that there was no breach of planning control and records show no enforcement cases have been opened since then.

“Planning enforcement officers were due to seek to gain access today to inspect the premises following this report.”

It is not known whether a visit took place or if council officers could gain access.

Glasshouse Asset Management, Mendoza’s property agent, and ECF, which was looking after the company’s communications, have not responded to a request for comment.


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The White Swan: Charlton Society to discuss much-missed pub’s fate

White Swan
Mendoza put the White Swan on the market in 2020

The fate of The White Swan in Charlton Village will be up for discussion at the Charlton Society‘s regular monthly meeting this Saturday, together with a number of issues about improving the area.

The Swan closed suddenly in March 2020, just before the first lockdown, after a lengthy battle to pay the rent demanded by the Isle of Man-based property developer Mendoza, which bought the freehold from Punch Taverns for £900,000 in 2015.

Since then, the pub has been put on the market, with Mendoza demanding £40,000 in rent each year, although it no longer appears on the front page of agent Jenkins Law’s website. In November 2020, planning permission was given for a house at the rear of the site – shrinking the pub’s beer garden. Final approval of a six-month construction programme was given last June.

The society has added the restoration of the Swan as a priority item to its Save Our Village Action Plan, which it will be discussing on Saturday.

Most of the (many) other items in the plan are to do with the public realm around the village, although it also includes the 20mph zone which was implemented two years ago, along with “continuous pavements” that were described as an “accident waiting to happen” on this website in March.

The meeting will be held at Charlton House at 2.30pm this Saturday; there is an admission fee of £3 for non-members and £2 for members.


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Charlton Toy library musical fundraiser at The White Swan

Charlton Toy Library Fundraising Concert Flyer - Final

Charlton Toy Library is holding a Fundraising Concert on July 6th, from 5pm at The White Swan in Charlton Village.

The Toy Library offers play and borrowing sessions three mornings a week, and also provides an outreach service that delivers and fits safety equipment for families, including families at risk.

The fundraiser will start with a children’s concert upstairs in the Swan function room. Entry will cost £5 per adult and will feature students of local music teacher Colin Foord-Divers. The kids have been practising hard and the vast majority will be performing for the first time!

From 8pm the party moves downstairs to the main bar where The Shangrilads will blast out a bit of punk, a bit of rock and a side order of roll. Also on the bill will be London singer-songwriter Marie Bashiru, with an enticing mix of folk, jazz and pop rock (which you can listen to ahead of time here: https://soundcloud.com/mariebashiru).

The downstairs gig is free to all, but there will be buckets rattling (not during the songs hopefully) and people are invited to support the Toy Library while enjoying the tunes and the White Swan generally.

For those that don’t know, the Toy Library was set up in 1982 by local mums and initially was run from their homes. The Toy Library now has a regular base in Charlton House and children are free to visit and play on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, between 9.30 and 12.30 (term time only).

Further information:

Tickets can be purchased on the day at The White Swan.
The White Swan can be found at 22 The Village (opposite the Co-op).
You can read more about Charlton Toy Library on their website: http://www.charltontoylibrary.co.uk

Our thanks to Charlton Champion reader Paul Chapman for sending over details of the event.


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