Liberal Democrat Campaign saves Pub - for now
Liberal Democrat Councillors are delighted that the planning application to turn the Winnicott Pub (formerly the Old Justice) into luxury flats has been refused. The 1930s pub which is a well loved building where Paul McCartney filmed "Give my Regards the Broad Street" and John Thaw and Dennis Waterman, filmed "Regan" the pilot for what would become "The Sweeney" (1974). It was always a thriving community pub when well managed, but had been run down and closed in the last year. Locals thought that this might be intentional and were very worried when the planning application appeared this summer. Riverside Ward Councillors, Anood Al-Samerai, Eliza Mann and Hamish McCallum, immediately launched a campaign to stop the planning application and to list the pub as a community asset.
Commenting, Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, said "We have been astounded by the level of local support for this campaign. We spent August knocking on doors with our petition and had residents running after us, asking to sign it. We gathered over 200 signatures and heard so many lovely stories about the history of the pub and its place in our community. People told us that the pub was where they had met future husbands, had first drinks, celebrated birthdays and events such as the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 and the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981.
We are very pleased that the planning application has been refused, but there is still work to do as the owner may appeal or try again. That is why we are still working with local residents and the Campaign for Real Ale to make sure the pub is formally listed by Historic England and as a Community Asset. We also want to make sure that there is a future for the pub where it is well managed and a space for residents, visitors and community events. Bermondsey has seen so much development, but there is no point in building more and more flats without the services and community facilities that residents need. And any new flats should be genuinely affordable for local residents, not luxury ones which are sold abroad."