On 19th November, the Strategic Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Wandsworth Council will meet to decide the future of The Wheatsheaf pub in Tooting Bec.
Ahead of the meeting next week, councillors on the committee has not been advised to listen to the call to save the pub from being turned into a supermarket or luxury flats, and instead only offer to protect it from demolition.
Since July, local residents and campaigners have been adding their name to Sadiq Khan’s letter calling for the Council to use planning the law to save the pub in their hundreds. The Tooting MP’s letter clearly states that local residents want to protect the pub from becoming a supermarket or luxury flats.
Sadiq Khan MP is now calling on Wandsworth Councillors to listen to local residents and focus on the real risk facing the pub – a developer taking it over – not demolition. Developers taking over pubs remains a threat across South London, as local communities continue to see supermarkets replacing their locals, including The Grove Tavern in Wimbledon, the Prince of Wales on Garratt Lane and Jack Stamps in West Norwood.
Sadiq is inviting local residents to write to members of the committee calling for protection against developers, not demolition. Click here to contact the committee.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
“One thing throughout this huge campaign has remained clear – we’re fighting to stop our pub from becoming another Tesco Express or Sainsbury’s, or luxury flats. Demolition has never been a threat.
“Our local councillors must not ignore our call for an Article 4 Direction against change of use – protection against demolition is not what we have all been fighting for and would not protect our pub for the future. If the committee members really want to show that they are listening to their community, they need to protect the pub and grant an Article 4 Direction against change of use, not just demolition.
“Local residents and campaigners now have one week to make it clear to local councillors – we want you to protect our pub from the real threat, developers. If enough of us can get this message across, we stand a much better chance of being heard.”
Aidan Mundy, member of the Save the Wheatsheaf campaign group commenting on the report said,
“I'm extremely disappointed by the conclusions drawn in this report. The Wheatsheaf is at threat from being turned into a supermarket, not from demolition. Calls to act from thousands of campaigners must not be ignored.
“The report would appear to make out that the council is putting self interest before protecting a much loved community asset from corporate interests. I hope councillors see sense and grant an Article 4 direction, protecting The Wheatsheaf from becoming anything other than our much-loved local pub.”