House at back of White Swan pub all set for council approval

Mendoza render of new White Swan home
How Mendoza says the new home would look: it would largely be hidden from view by a wall

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.

White Swan beer garden
The proposed house would sit behind the pub’s beer garden

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.

Closed White Swan pub becomes asset of community value again

White Swan
Mendoza bought the freehold to the White Swan in March 2015

The White Swan pub, which closed suddenly just before the coronavirus pandemic, has been registered as an asset of community value by Greenwich Council after a request by the Charlton Society.

The designation means that if the building is put up for sale, a six-month block can be put on the sale to allow a community group to bid to take it on.

It is the second time the pub has been given the status – six years ago the society successfully applied for the White Swan to be made an asset of community value, but the designation was allowed to lapse.

The pub’s owner, property company Mendoza, has insisted it will find a new tenant for the pub. Work has taken place on the site since the company repossessed the building in March.

A decision is due on a planning application by Mendoza to build a house on land at the back of the pub – shaving off a section of the beer garden to build an access road.

The village’s other pub, The Bugle Horn, was designated an asset of community value in June 2015, though that status expired last month.


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White Swan: We’re committed to reopening Charlton Village pub, freeholder says

The pub has been stripped of furniture and fittings

The property company that owns the White Swan pub in Charlton Village says it is committed to reopening the venue, which closed suddenly on Monday four years after being taken over by the landlord of the Pelton Arms in Greenwich.

Mendoza Limited, which bought the building in 2015, said it only learned about the pub’s closure yesterday. “The tenant was no longer responding to my clients’ agents’ requests for rental payments,” Hussein Aziz, of Glasshouse Management, representing Mendoza, told The Charlton Champion.

The company has put in several applications to develop land at the rear of the pub’s beer garden, the latest of which has yet to be determined by Greenwich Council. But the company insists it is committed to finding a new tenant to run both the pub and the beer garden.

“Mendoza is now going to commence the marketing of the premises as a public house in the name of retaining a pub at this address – all being well a more food-led public house, which is more suited to the area,” Aziz said.

“It will go about refurbishing and securing the premises first. To reconfirm for you and your readers – my client would like to rent the pub and the beer garden and find the correct tenants to make this into a lasting hub for the area.”

News of the pub’s closure was greeted with widespread dismay yesterday. It had become a favourite for Charlton Athletic fans, and the news came on top of the unravelling of the club’s recent takeover by East Street Investments.

The Charlton Athletic Museum confirmed last night that Addicks memorabilia that it had loaned to the Swan was safe after the pub’s fixtures and furniture had been stripped.


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