Much loved community pub to re-open

A pub once frequented by David Beckham and his grandfather is set to re-open in June after it was spared by local planners.

Residents formed a ‘Save the Wenlock’ campaign to protect the Wenlock Arms when it was threatened with demolition by developers.

In response the Council gave the pub, on Wenlock Road, locally listed status and amended conservation zone boundaries in order to halt plans to destroy the Victorian property.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council
I’m really pleased that the Wenlock Arms will be restored as a pub, this is clearly the outcome local people were hoping for. Following the residents’ campaign, the Council reviewed the status of the building and put extra protections in place to ensure it was returned to use and not simply demolished.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council

Conditions put in place also restrict future changes of use so that the Wenlock Arms cannot be changed into a shop or restaurant without going through the planning process and to require restoration of some features.

Heath Ball, the pub’s new owner uncovered a piece of the Wenlock Arms’ history when carrying out alterations required by the Council.

He said: “We had to install new toilets and reinstate the original main corner door – which was fantastic, because in doing so we unearthed the original 150 year old mosaic sign reading ‘Wenlock Arms’.

“We’ve put a new floor in and are painting the pub the original colours inside and out – so there’s more than a nod to the way the pub used to be. We don’t want to take the soul out of the pub the way it was, but it needed more work and a bit of TLC.”

In March this year The Chesham Arms on Mehetabel Road was listed as Hackney’s first Asset of Community Value (ACV) as the first step towards protecting another much-loved community pub.

The ACV listing gives locals six months in order to put together a bid to buy the pub.

The Wenlock Arms will open after the first stage of its refurbishment on 3 June 2013.