It's worth getting a few things straight:
- The listing applies to the whole building, not just the facade.
- The listing is only a local listing
, which offers no specific statutory
protection, although it does commit the council to using its other powers to protect the building as far as possible.
- The building's location in a conservation area means that conservation area consent is required for substantial demolition. This is one of the powers the council can use to protect the building.
- With this in mind, there was understandable concern when the rear and flank walls were demolished and roof removed without conservation area consent.
- Cllr Best subsequently advised (see http://forum.sydenham.org.uk/viewtopic. ... 830#p59811
) that Purelake, the developer, have been asked for an explanation of why the demolition took place, although she reports that the initial explanation was that it was due to structural damage to the walls and dry rot in the roof.
- She also said in her post that the developer has said that the pub will be rebuilt exactly as the original building. She also advised that the bricks and windows that have been stored alongside the original tiles from the drinking corridor.
Whether the demolition of the walls without consent was naivety or foul play on the developer's part I don't know, but given (a) demolition of a building in a conservation area is a criminal offence, and (b) our local councillor and council officers are now well aware of what has taken place, I think that the developer will make pretty certain that they restore the building to a good standard.
As for the proximity of the pub to the new building to the rear, that was established when the planning permission was granted. We'll have to wait and see whether that puts off potential operators, but Cllr Best also noted in her post that, according to the developer, a pub operator has been found.
BTW, I'm not sure who Heritage Angle is referring to when he/she refers to a 'certain STF user and pillar of Sydenham society', but if he/she has more information it would be great to hear it!