"Community pub" could now follow
Controversial plans for a property development on the site of the empty Morden Tavern have been rejected by councillors.
Merton Borough Council's planning committee turned down the plans for retail units, flats, houses and maisonettes on the site in Central Road, Morden.
The Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit have been investigating allegations that a bat roost in the empty building has been illegally distubed.
And the Campaign for Morden Tavern (CMT) has been fighting the £1 million plans, submitted by Reef Estates. The group feels there are enough new homes being added to the St Helier estate and the pub was an important social facility.
CMT member Dale Ingram told the councillors: "If ever there were a textbook response by a community in Localism terms to a threat to something they cherish, it has been the Campaign for Morden Tavern".
The building, which is actually owned by the council, datest back to 1932 and was 'locally listed' in 2010 as a typical period building, designed by highly-regarded architect Sir Harry Redfern.
The CMT will now work on business plans to re-open the building as a community pub.
A spokesman said: "Campaigners woke with sore heads this morning after a surprise but entirely commendable vote by Merton's planning committee last night to refuse consent for a development scheme which would have led to the effective loss of the last of the St Helier Estate's three historic 'mega' pubs.
"The scheme for 23 properties would also have fatally compromised the Tavern's garden setting."
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January 13, 2012