Publican launches campaign to save the White Hart pub in New Cross

The White Hart in New Cross. Pic: Joseph Ryan

A New Cross pub and popular music venue is under threat after the owner of the building submitted an application to create flats above the White Hart, meaning it could no longer play loud music through midnight.

The White Hart pub is a popular music venue that has a license to play loud music until three in the morning. The proposed flats by Wellington Pub group would see the pub lose its license to play loud music in the early hours of the morning.

Dan Beames, Manager of White Hart, told Eastlondonlines: “The Freeholder, The Wellington Pub Group own the building, and the planning application they have submitted would mean us losing our late licence and music licence – without these, our business would not be able to survive.”

“We would not be able to have loud music or events, and our hours would be greatly curtailed. It’s (pubs closing) a very common situation all over London and the UK, sadly.”

Pub closures have become common in the UK, with 378 pubs shutting down permanently between July and December last year in England, Scotland and Wales. This represents more than 14 closures a week, according to The Campaign for Real Ale.

Inside a general pub. Pic: Christian_Birkholz

Beames added: “The best way to show support for the pub is to submit objections to the planning application, all the objections will be considered at the hearing, which will take place at the end of this month.”

Paul Bell, the cabinet member for housing in Lewisham told Eastlondonlines: “I have put in an objection to the application. The pub group who owns the building has put in an application for the upper floors of the pub which is currently serving as a hotel and pub, into flats. The problem with this is that it would actually affect the pub in theory, as the pub will still be downstairs.”

“However, the reality is that the if the flats would be made, the pub won’t be able to soundproof the property, which would obviously lead to complaints from people above. Which in theory leads to the closure of the pub as they won’t be able to carry out a part of its business.”

“It makes no sense what so ever to expand into a flat or move in when you consider the amount of noise that would be downstairs if the pub was to continue.”

“I think we should be protecting pubs, their license and existence, they provide value to the community as a resource. We really should be supporting these pubs but if this does go ahead, I do believe the pub will have to shut down.”

The Save White Hart banner. Pic: White Hart

Beames said: “The White Hart is a vibrant community hub – we have a family friendly atmosphere during the day, with games for kids and treats for dogs, plus a great food menu. Then, on Friday and Saturday evenings, we have club nights that serve as a Launchpad for local DJs and attract people from all over for late night dancing and craft beer until 3am.”

The number of pubs in the UK has gone down by 10,000 in the last decade, resulting in 48,000 remaining in 2017, according to British Beer Pub Association.

An online petition has been created to support the White Hart and has gathered over 3,000 signatures in a day.

The Wellington Pub group could not be contacted for comment.


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