In my part of Marylebone we have seen the loss of a number of public houses particularly to residential usage in the last seven years. It appears COVID19 crisis is further pushing this trend as landlords push rents when those running the pubs have not had the customers normally at the local pub coming out of lockdown yet alone during the lockdown itself.
Take for example, my nearest functionally pub the Globe on Lisson Grove. Its landlord has not been clear at all of what is going to happen with their commercial rents as the economy comes into the recovery phase of lockdown. This while it is clear that the the pub has value if turned into residential like many other old pubs in the neighbourhood like the Perservance and Brazen Head.
In one case over 30 people locally decided to form a group to nominate the Linhope Street Public House (Swan & Edgar Public House, formerly known as the Feathers Public House) for listing as an Asset of Community Value. Please find the link to the Asset of Community Value Nomination Form made to the City of Westminster. It clearly shows how to get one’s local public house listed as an asset of community value under the Localism Act, which then gives the pub extra protection if its put up for sale. This after writing a column in the West End Extra Forum in 2014 under the header of ” The pub’s a hub and worth cherishing” it was very reassuring that it was of immediate use to campaigners trying to stop another pub closing in NW1.
This is also happening to pubs in South London as well like the Bear in Camberwell. Something needs to be done to get landlords to take on board the cultural institutions we are dealing with here when looking at their commercial rents reviews. Otherwise we will be losing a lot more pubs as a result of COVID19 crisis.