White Swan freeholder Mendoza refused permission for ‘cramped’ house behind pub

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

The firm which owns the freehold to the White Swan has had its third attempt to build housing on the site refused by Greenwich Council planners.

Isle of Man-based property developer Mendoza Ltd, which makes its money from buying pubs and converting at least part of the land to residential use, had wanted to build a three-bedroom property on land behind the pub’s beer garden.

A letter sent to the firm’s agent before Christmas said it was rejected because the property’s “scale, bulk, site coverage, contemporary design and cramped appearance… would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the [Charlton Village] Conservation Area”.

Planners also say the scheme broke several London and local planning policies.

The letter also notes that Mendoza did not seek advice from the council before putting the application in, and that it should talk to planners before submitting a new proposal.

White Swan planning application
The rejected proposal was for one house, sunk partly below ground level

The house would have been partly built below ground level to reduce its impact on the surrounding conservation area, and would have had no windows that could open onto the beer garden.

Bermondsey-based architecture firm Milan Babic said in the application: “We believe that the new proposal preserves, enhances and uplifts the character of the site, thereby creating a habitable, functional and aesthetically woven architecture.”

A first attempt, 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.

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

Attention will now turn to what Mendoza will do next – whether it will appeal, revise its plans once again, or look at the pub itself, which is rented by the team behind Greenwich’s Pelton Arms.

Earlier this year the firm lost a planning appeal against Camden Council’s refusal to allow it to turn the Carpenters Arms in King’s Cross into flats. However, in May it won an appeal against Tower Hamlets refusing it permission to build a hotel around the Duke of Wellington in Spitalfields.

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A Roving Folk Club comes to Charlton’s White Swan for 2018

White Swan

Jim’s been in touch to say…

My wife Isobel and I have started a new folk club in Charlton. it’ll be on the first Monday of each month, upstairs at the White Swan in the Village. We had our first evening last week and had a wonderful musical time, attracting singers and musicians with a love of traditional music plus some locals who just came in to listen. It was them that suggested I get in touch with you and we are keen to attract more people. Would you give us a mention?

We certainly can…

The next one will be on New Year’s Day at 8pm, with £2 admission. Feel free to get in touch with Jim and Isobel via the Roving Folk Club Facebook page in the meantime.

(You may know Jim and Isobel from their band Bruise.)

Roving Folk Club poster

White Swan freeholder Mendoza makes third attempt to build housing at back of pub

White Swan

The firm which owns the freehold to the White Swan pub in Charlton Village, property developer Mendoza Ltd, is making a third attempt to build housing on land behind its beer garden.

The Isle of Man-based company, which makes its money from buying pubs and converting at least part of the land to residential use, has had two past applications rejected.

A first attempt 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 this year.

Now the company is back with a much-reduced scheme to build one three-bedroom house on the currently-disused land which sits between the beer garden and the Torrance Close service road.

White Swan planning application
The new proposal is for just one house, sunk partly below ground level

The house would be partly built below ground level to reduce its impact on the surrounding conservation area, and would have no windows that could open onto the beer garden, documents submitted to Greenwich Council show.

Architects Milan Babic say: “We believe that the new proposal preserves, enhances and
uplifts the character of the site, thereby creating a habitable, functional and aesthetically woven architecture.”

Mendoza bought the pub from previous owner Punch Taverns in March 2015, evicting the then-management three months later. However, it reopened in September 2015 under the management of Greenwich’s Pelton Arms boss Geoff Keen, who is trying to keep it as a viable, community-focused pub. A second bar and function room has now opened on the pub’s upper floor.

To see more details and comment on the scheme, visit Greenwich Council’s planning website and search for application 17/2043/F.

The White Swan needs you! (Yes, you)

White Swan
The White Swan: It sells Proper Job beer (which is very nice)

A few words from the team at The White Swan

“Calling all friends in Charlton who wanted to/might like to help us ‘Save The White Swan’…we have had some flyers printed and are asking you all to forward to as many friends as possible please. If you can share via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram we would really appreciate it as I am sure there are many people that don’t know about us.

“What would be really amazing would be for people to do a leaflet drop through neighbours houses… if you are keen/kind enough to do this then please let us know and we can cross your street off the map and not duplicate. Thanks so much!”

White Swan flyer

If you can help, call in and pick up some flyers. Running a pub isn’t cheap, and The Swan’s recently trimmed back its daytime opening hours (it now opens from 3.30pm Monday-Thursday, noon Friday-Sunday) since, frankly, hardly anybody used it then. It’s also due start showing some sport to drum up some new trade – it already showed international events from free-to-air TV, live football and rugby from BT Sport shouldn’t be any more obtrusive than the recent Six Nations coverage.

But we’d suggest that maybe there’s more you can do. How about getting a team together for the weekly quiz (8.30pm Tuesdays) or the monthly music quiz (8.30pm on third Thursday of the month)? Or if there’s an event or get-together you host, why not speak to the pub about having it there? (We have our own idea…)

Three years ago, a local campaign helped make the pub an asset of community value and convinced the current owners to take a punt on the place. And a successful Swan has potential to boost business in The Village as a whole. So pop into the Swan – and think of it as an investment in your neighbourhood.

PS. If you want to start tonight, there’s a tap takeover with Signature Brewery featuring beer and music from “London’s musically influenced breweries” – it starts at 6pm.

White Swan: Plans for new homes behind pub refused

Mendoza homes on White Swan land
Mendoza’s plans for homes behind the White Swan pub

Thanks to the Charlton Society for news that plans to build homes behind the White Swan pub in Charlton Village have been refused by Greenwich Council planners.

The freeholder of the land, property developer Mendoza, had wanted to build two three-bedroom houses on part of the beer garden and vacant land behind the pub, which has seen a remarkable revival since being reopened by the team behind Greenwich’s Pelton Arms in September.

Mendoza’s proposals were refused by the council’s planning department without going to a planning committee. It’s likely they’ll return with an altered plan, as the company specialises in taking pubs and converting some or all of the space into residential accommodation.

The White Swan isn’t the only Charlton pub in developers’ spotlight right now – an application to build 11 flats and a gym around the Antigallican on Woolwich Road is being consulted on by Greenwich Council (reference 15/2272/F). Comments need to be received by the council by Tuesday 8 December.

White Swan freeholder Mendoza plans two houses at back of revived pub

Mendoza homes on White Swan land
The new homes are set back from Torrance Close, overlooking the pub’s beer garden

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.