Plans to demolish a disused Victorian pub in Hoxton to make way for an extension of The Geffrye Museum have been criticised for overlooking the building’s historical value.
If the proposals, which were submitted to Hackney Council last month, are accepted then the Marquis of Landsowne pub in Cremer Street will be replaced by an £18.9 million extension to the museum.
Conservation groups such as Save Britain’s Heritage, The Victorian Society and Spitalfields Trust have started a petition against the move. So far, the petition has received the support of 676 signatories.
Campaigners have urged the museum and the architects to “rethink their plans”. They argue, “It is a beautiful Victorian building, an old East End pub that survived the blitz. Yet another building bites the dust and London’s rapidly changing East End is further homogenised.”
The Marquis of Lansdowne closed in 1995 and now belongs to the Geffrye Museum. A spokesperson for the museum told Eastlondonlines: “The decision to demolish the former pub has not been taken lightly.
“We have considered all possible alternatives to demolition. However after extensive consideration and consultation, we have decided that redevelopment is the best option for the museum and our visitors.
“The pub is not listed and is in poor condition, with very few of its original fittings. It cannot sensibly be re-purposed for museum use. The museum’s restaurant will be on the corner, creating a lively and animated public space opposite Hoxton station.”
Last week MPs called on the Conservative Government to increase protection for pubs of architectural value.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has also been criticised by campaigners for awarding a grant to the museum for their extension plan.
However , a Trustee of local heritage organisation The Hackney Society, Nick Perry, supports the museum’s plans to expand.
Perry told ELL: “We’re pleased to see people focusing on the role of buildings in their communities and a debate taking place over threats to our remaining pubs.
“This pub was lost nearly two decades ago. The museum’s plans have the capacity to bring huge benefits to the area and an opportunity to bring high-quality improvements to the borough’s built environment.”