The closure of the Academy Pub is the latest example of what Norland Conservation Area is losing as a community under the pressure to build private residential houses. Here is a summary of the efforts made by the NCS committee and its members to save the Academy Pub:
2014 NCS made aware that Wellington Pub Company (WPC) seek to change the Academy from a pub to an art gallery.
NCS applies to RBKC for an emergency Article 4 direction to prevent change of status without first applying for planning permission.
WPC apply for change of use – NCS and its members object – permission refused
NCS apply for ACV (Asset of Community Value) status for the Academy. Nearly 100 emails and letters of support from NCS members are received by RBKC to support the application.
2014 December ACV status given to the Academy
2015 WPC appeal against ACV status for the first and second floor of 57 Princedale Road.
Members again write to the Council in support of ACV status for Academy for all 4 floors.
WPC apply for planning permission to turn the Academy into a café
Members write to Council pointing out that while there are abundant cafes in Holland Park Avenue, there is only one community pub left in NCA.Permission for change of use refused
WPB appeal to revoke ACV status on 57 Princedale Road’s first and second floor and is given a date to be heard in Court.
2015 September NCS goes to Court (with RBKC). In a landmark case the Tribunal rejects WPC’s Appeal. ACV status remains on the whole building in recognition that the upper floors are integral to the building’s status as a community pub.
2016 August-September The lease of the Academy expires. It is not renewed. WPC closes the Academy.
The terms of the ACV provide a six months moratorium for a local group or charity to raise funds to buy 57 Princedale Road.
September Saturday Guardian features an article on the Academy to illustrate the changing ‘face’ of London.
NCS Committee works up to the deadline for triggering the moratorium to find a business partner to buy 57 Princedale Road, to invest in improvements and to run it as a community pub. This was not possible to achieve.
2016 – 2017 November – April Kensington Society triggers the moratorium which expired on 7th April.
2017 The Arbitrage Group pay a deposit for the purchase of the pub from Wellington Pub Company (Criterion Asset Management)
2017 May – Arbitrage Group hold a public exhibition outside the pub to explain their initial plans to re-develop the pub and the adjacent land.
2017 May – December NCS, Clarendon Cross RA and the Kensington Society hold regular consultations with Arbitrage Group and its consultants. Our chief concern is to secure a viable pub with a long term future within the ACV’s boundary.
2017 – November NCS, CCRA and Kensington Society object to Arbitrage Group’s (Academy Holland Park Ltd) application to build 4 flats which ignore the ACV status of the pub’s 2nd floor and reduce the ground floor trading space. Over 40 objections are lodged. NCS sticks to its objective for a design that better reflects the wishes & needs of the community.
2017 – December AHP withdraws its first planning application and submits its second one for the redevelopment of the pub within its ACV boundary and a house instead of 4 flats. This application has been rejected at the planning stage and the Council has requested certain adjustments.
2018 January – We await developments.
Efforts to find an investor are still continuing because the Academy has pints of potential. Please contact NCS if you have contacts who would be interested in investing in Norland Conservation Area’s only community pub.