Hackney planning Committee said today: “The Wenlock Arms has both historical value and architectural character and adds positively to the local distinctiveness of the area. Inadequate justification has been provided for the demolition of the existing building, and as such its demolition would result in an unacceptable loss of a heritage asset and consequently would result in unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.”
The “Save The Wenlock” Campaign was started in September 2010 by Tessa Norton and Sian Murphy. They started the campaign after hearing the news that the pub was closing and was due for demolition. Norton reasoning behind the campaign was: “I love this pub with all my stupid heart”.
People from all over London followed and supported the campaign. The news even reached Wenlock lovers from abroad.
“I write from Toronto, and have just heard the news. Obviously, I’m devastated. The Wenlock Arms is surely the finest pub in Commonwealth. Your work is much appreciated, as far away as the new world!” wrote Lisa Amin.
Campaigner Russ Garrett said: “I was quite skeptical that we’d have any chance blocking the planning permission, but having it blocked on the grounds of both historical AND social significance? Well, that deserves a drink.”
There are plans for Loyal Wenlock customers to celebrate this evening. Elsewhere, micro blogging website twitter is also filled with people who are celebrating the decision. User @Mondoagogo tweeted: “Ooh, yay, the Wenlock Arms got saved from being redeveloped into yuppie flats!”.
The Wenlock Arms was built in 1835, it survived the Blitz during the Second World War and this week it’s survived the developers too.
By Lilith Verny