Concerned neighbours have begun a petition against a development of eight flats and a pub on the site of the former Harmony bar on Railton Road, Brixton.
Residents have until Thursday (4th April) to comment on the plans by developers linked to Antic Ltd, the owners of the Dogstar pub, Coldharbour Lane. The project was first reported by the Effra Blog yesterday.
More than 50 signatures have already been collected opposing the plans to add another story to the existing building and keep the bar and restaurant use on the ground floor.
Dan Sinclair, of Barnwell Road, said: “There has been a pub there for 100 years but the area has changed a lot. Shops have closed down and the school has closed. It is now a residential area – a pub there would just be odd.”
He added that the new designs were out of kilter with the historic feel of the Poets Corner conservation area. “The plans are not in keeping with the area. It won’t be right,” said Sinclair.
The original pub on the corner of Effra Parade and Railton Road was destroyed by fire during the riots of 1981. It was rebuilt in its current form and more recently late-night parties in the first floor function room led to a series of complaints about antisocial behaviour.
Anthony Thomas, from Antic Ltd, was keen to distance the development from his pub operations, saying they had set up a separate company, Harmony Herne Hill LLP. He said that Antic had no plans to run the pub themselves.
“When it was rebuilt it was done in a very odd fashion, so it makes sense that we upgrade the building as it is now. We will get rid of the function room on the first floor but planners like to keep pubs open,” said Thomas.
“I would like to see it run as more of a community-type cafe or bar operation.”
Thomas said he had approached local residents to discuss the project but talks had not progressed. He added: “We are still more than happy to engage with people over this.”
Plans submitted to the council include eight apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms, with a bar and restaurant on the ground floor and basement levels. See the plans and comment on them here.
To sign the petition against the building, email your full name and address to email@example.com.