Dear Sir or Madam,
I write to add my voice to those urging the Planning Inspectorate to permit a public inquiry into the recent events involving the unauthorised demolition of the Carlton Tavern, in Carlton Vale, Maida Vale. The action taken by the building’s owners, CLTX Ltd, following Westminster Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for its re-building, has caused shock and outrage in the local community, and touched a nerve much more widely.
The Carlton Tavern has been an important local feature within this area for almost a century, and was, as we know, being recommended for listing by Historic England. Its location- at the entrance to Paddington Recreation ground- demands that the building be maintained or adapted sympathetically and in line with the Council’s planning policy. It is wholly unacceptable that a develop can be permitted to flout the rules as CLTX has done- and even more so when the flouting was accompanied by such radical and destructive action as overnight (semi)demolition. Residents, and those following the story of pub closures and the development of similar buildings in high-value areas, will be seeking reassurance that such actions are not permissible and redress can be obtained. There is a widespread belief (whether justified or not) that the ‘developer pound’ can over-ride the community interest, and it is essential that trust in due process must be restored and seen to be- in public. There is no doubt that the strength of public feeling and wide interest in what happens demands that the appeal should not be a paper exercise.
I look forward to the confirmation of your decision.
Karen Buck MP