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Thursday, 7 July 2016

Pub appeal against planning permission upheld

One thing that irritates me is when people move into an area where noise might reasonably be expected, and then object to the entirely predictable consequences. The best example around here is people who buy a home near RAF Woodvale which is between Southport and Formby, and then complain in the local papers about planes taking off and landing.

Another silly example I came across was when our CAMRA branch visited the Tetley Brewery in Leeds a few months before it closed. There was a fairly new block of flats nearby and our guide wryly commented how, having bought flats near a large, very visible brewery, some residents then complained about the noise.

I was therefore pleasantly surprised to read that the Court of Appeal has overturned planning permission for the building of new flats near the George Tavern in Stepney, London, a well-known live music venue where the likes of Nick Cave, Snow Patrol and John Cooper Clarke have performed. Tower Hamlets had originally rejected the application but the developers won their appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, and it's that decision that has now been reversed.

Celebrities such as Ian McKellan and Kate Moss supported the campaign to oppose the demolition of a derelict former night club next door and build a block of flats. The grounds of appeal included the prospect of the new residents complaining about the noise, along with the the fact that the development would have cut off natural light to the pub and adversely affected a photography business in its upper floors.

This issue has been going on for nearly a decade so there may be further appeals, but the decision is still highly significant and, in my view, very welcome. I see no reason why planning applications for residential developments should automatically take priority over all other considerations.

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