19th December - Update
Future of much-loved pub is safe, owners reassure MP
Rumours have been circulating that the doors of The Wheatsheaf pub would be closing in the New Year, as the current tenants, Antic's lease comes to an end. Keen to get to the bottom of the rumours, Sadiq Khan called on the owners, Enterprise Inns for answers.
In a statement issued to Sadiq, Enterprise Inns have committed to keeping a pub on the site, and getting a new tenant in with minimal disruptions. They also reassured that there should be no need for any period of closure. Sadiq and ‘Save the Wheatsheaf’ campaigners have welcomed the good news - find out more here.
20th August - Update
Worried about the impact the planning application to build nine residential apartments above The Wheatsheaf will have on the future of the pub, Sadiq has submitted his objections to the council (below).
Click here to view a PDF of the letter.
Why not do your bit to help?
All you have to do is email your objection, with the reference 2014/3954, to firstname.lastname@example.org, and feel free to borrow the wording of Sadiq's objection too.
8th August 2014 - Update
I am delighted to report that the Article 4 Direction is now set in stone! As of this week, Wandsworth Council have FINALLY confirmed the direction, which means should any planning application be submitted to change the pub into anything else, then elected councillors will get to have their say.
This is the first direction of its kind in Wandsworth, and one of only a handful being used to protect pubs across the country. We should all be incredibly proud of this achievement – it just goes to show that perseverance and people power really does work!
You may have heard about the new planning application to convert the upstairs of the pub into residential flats. Whislt the applicant is very clear that they want the apartments to coexist with the pub, I’ll be pushing the council every step of the way to make sure protecting The Wheatsheaf is their top priority.
I will be sure to keep you updated in the coming weeks.
WE DID IT! After a year of campaigning by local residents, huge and unprecedented pressure has forced Wandsworth Council to finally agree to use their planning powers to protect The Wheatsheaf!
A message from Sadiq -
"I am really pleased that Wandsworth Council has finally succumbed to the overwhelming pressure from local residents and made this u-turn at the eleventh hour. The continued delay over the last year has been an insult to the people of Tooting, and wider afield, who use The Wheatsheaf.
"Our campaign over the last 12 months has been relentless. And everyone's hard work has finally paid off. We have forced the Council to pull their heads out of the sand and finally save The Wheatsheaf!
"This Article 4 Direction is a clear warning to all potential developers to keep their hands off our pub. I want to thank the thousands of local residents who have been part of this campaign and shown the strength of people power. Together we have achieved this fantastic result."
The story so far...
Since Sadiq first heard the rumours of a Tesco takeover of The Wheatsheaf pub in Tooting Bec, he has been working hard with local residents and the the pub itself to save the pub - the amazing campaign from local residents really has been breathtaking.
From the beginning Sadiq took the fight to the very top; of Tesco, the Government and Wandsworth Council. You can read more about this and read Sadiq's letters by clicking here.
Round 1: to us
After calling on the Tesco Chief Executive to make Tescos position clear, Sadiq received assurances that Tesco would not be taking over the pub. You can read more about this here.
Round 2: to us
After calling on Enterprise Inns, the owners of the freehold of The Wheatsheaf pub to clarify their intentions for The Wheatsheaf, Sadiq received the following statement on 2nd August 2013
An Enterprise spokesperson said:
“We can confirm that we have no plans to sell The Wheatsheaf public house in Tooting. Our Publican has recently been in administration and the pub lease is due to expire at the end of this year. We are in continuing discussions with the parties involved with a view to reach a mutually acceptable outcome.”
Click here to find out more.
Bringing The Wheatsheaf to Parliament
To celebrate the success of the campaign so far and to discuss the next steps going forward, Sadiq invited everyone involved in the fight to save the pub to Parliament on 12th September. You can read more about this here.
The Wheatsheaf is added to the Council's 'Local List'
Ahead of the Strategic Planning committee, Sadiq called on Wandsworth councillors to add The Wheatsheaf to the local list. This is not quite the same as a ‘listed building’, but the award does carry significant weight when it comes to the planning process.
On Monday 16th September the Council listened to local campaigners and Sadiq and added the Tooting Bec pub to the 'Local List'. You can read more about this here.
Sadiq is called on Wandsworth Council to make an Article 4 Direction - to keep The Wheatsheaf safe in the long run. Click here to find out more about what an Article 4 Direction is and why it is the only way to save the pub.
More than 1,500 people added their name to Sadiq's letter calling on Wandsworth Council to make an Article 4 Direction - showing the strength of support to save our much-loved local.
Since reaching the 1,000 milestone Sadiq wrote to Council Leader Paul Martin again - click here to read Sadiq's most recent letter.
The Council met to decide whether to grant an Article 4 Direction on 20th November and unfortunately their decision fell short of what campaigners had been asking for. Although councillors partially listened to Sadiq, and have recommended an Article 4 Direction be granted, they chose not to step up and back the call for an ‘immediate’ Direction. Instead there will now be a period of local consultation which resulted in an unprecented 500 extra responses from local residents. All of these were in favour of granting the direction.
At the committee meeting on 1st July Wheatsheaf supporters such as Labour’s Cllr Fleur Anderson, called again for the council to make the direction there and then, given the strong support for it amongst the local community. However, rather than listen to the views of local residents, the committee voted to delay action on saving the pub until later this year.
Not satisfied with this, Sadiq Khan MP alongside the local community continued to put pressure on the council to take action – and finally, following questioning from Labour Cllr Candida Jones at last night’s council meeting, Wandsworth Council finally revealed that the Article 4 direction will be granted.
Save the Wheatsheaf campaign makes it onto the small screen!
South West London TV visited The Wheatsheaf, and spoke to a number of key people involved in the campaign, including Yasmin Duggan, who first raised concerns about the rumours of a supermarket takeover on the Streetlife forum, and Fleur Anderson, who has been leading the community campaign from the front. The TV crew also popped into the recent event in Parliament, to celebrate the success of the campaign so far.
Click here to view the video from South West London TV.
Local coverage of the campaign:
Listen to Sadiq's interview on the Save the Wheatsheaf campaign, 26th July - on South London radio station Radio Jackie here.
Future of The Wheatsheaf pub in Tooting secured after freeholder reveals it is not for sale, article in the Wandsworth Guardian on 31st July.
Final Orders: views being sought on Tooting pub for sale - in South London Press, 2nd August.
Or why not read Sadiq's column in the South London Press here.
Pub campaigners celebratte success at Parliament with Tooting MP Sadiq Khan, Wandsworth Guardian 16th September
Extra protection granted to threatened Tooting pub, Wandsworth Guardian 17th September
The Wheatsheaf, Tooting Bec, is 'Locally Listed' by Wandsworth Council, The Publican, 19th September