Chesham Arms forced to stop using buildings for housing

Pic: Save The Chesham campaign

Pic: Save The Chesham campaign

Hackney Council have issued the owner of the Chesham Arms with a planning enforcement notice that requires him to stop using the building for residential purposes.

The owner, Mukund Patel aimed to turn the Chesham Arms into flats but yesterday the Council confirmed that he “had been told to cease use of the first floor as a residential space.”

James Watson, a spokesperson for the Save the Chesham campaign said: “The Chesham Arms has been a pub for 147 years and the upstairs flat was provided specifically for the publican and his family. The access to the flat is from behind the bar and is therefore quite clearly ancillary. The Town & Country Planning Act is perfectly clear on this point.

“No other building owner on the street would expect to be able to subdivide their house into separate flats without planning permission.”

The Homerton pub became Hackney’s first ACV in March 2011 but has been closed since October 2012 after the owners claimed that it was no longer profitable.

Last week a judge ruled that the Chesham Arms is to retain its ACV status after an appeal made by Patel was heard in court.

Watson said: “To change the use of the land from public house to residential dwelling house requires planning permission. We are delighted that Hackney Council is insisting that this important rule is enforced.

“It is a pity that they did not act prior to tenants moving in as four nice young guys now face eviction and none of this is their fault. We are in contact with the tenants and advising them on how to get their money back from the agent, including deposit and costs.”

A spokesman for Patel told the Hackney Gazette: “We are very disappointed to receive the enforcement notice and we are considering appealing it.”

Watson concluded: “Now the Council have put a stop to the unauthorised use of the flat, and hence closed off an income stream for Patel, we trust he will do the decent thing and either reopen the pub or sell it on to someone who will.”

Leave a Reply