Planning Inspectorate victory for the George

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A message from the George Tavern…

Last night we received news that a momentous decision had been reached by the Planning Inspectorate. We are delighted to announce that the appeal against refusal to grant planning permission, listed building consent and conservation area consent has been dismissed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government! This means that the proposal to build houses right next to the George Tavern has been refused planning permission.

This is not only a fantastic outcome for The George Tavern, but a signal for all music venues across the UK, who fear that they can be bullied and bought by developers, that the planning system will protect live music venues from inappropriate housing development. We hope that this decision will be a huge support for all future battles against those who would strive to see venues steeped in historical and cultural significance pushed out to support unseemly profiteering. 

We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who supported us in this difficult time by donating, buying t-shirts, playing their wonderful music in our venue and even those who simply shared our social media posts.

Whilst the battle is won, the war may not be over. Swan Housing Group still has the option to go back to the High Court and attempt to overturn the refusal of planning permission . We sincerely hope this does not happen but just in case it does, we will continue to #SAVETHEGEORGETAVERN!

Harry Campbell of Harrison Grant Solicitors said, “It is a cornerstone of the planning system that you should not place incompatible development, such as a live music venue and housing, next to each other. 

This has been a long fight, but we are delighted that the Secretary of State has acknowledged that it is not appropriate to prejudice the survival of the George Tavern, a culturally important live music venue, by placing housing on its doorstep which would almost certainly have led to complaints and restrictions on the George Tavern’s license. This decision will hopefully send a message to developers that they cannot continue to threaten the ongoing existence of live music venues which are the heartbeat of London with inappropriately located development.”

James Ketchell, Chief Executive of Music Heritage UK said, “Common sense has prevailed. This is a musical ‘oasis’ in a cultural desert—it should be protected to provide east London with an eclectic and diverse musical offering.”

Beverly Whitrick of Music Venue Trust said “Music Venue Trust is happy and relieved that this threat to The George Tavern has receded. The George is a grassroots music venue, vital to the development of new music in London and a cultural and community asset. This decision will help other venues by demonstrating that assembling a strong case with evidence about the potential impact of living next to a music venue can determine whether a development is reasonable or not. In this case the development would have endangered the venue and would not have provided accommodation that was good enough. Developers need to work harder to find the right solutions. Congratulations to Pauline and her team, and all who offered support and advice.”

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