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East London’s George Tavern wins appeal to block planning application

By | Published on Monday 4 July 2016

The George Tavern

The Court Of Appeal has overturned a planning decision to allow new flats to be built close to East London music venue The George Tavern.

As inner city regeneration and gentrification increases, a number of longstanding music venues have run into licensing troubles in recent years as a result of new residents moving in near by. These venues are often a major part of what makes an area of a city attractive again, bringing in property developers and then new residents, some of whom don’t like the noise that comes from the nearby venue.

However, on this occasion it was not worries about future licensing woes that enabled The George to stop the building of new residential properties near by, but the venue’s photography business. The court ruled that the new flats would have blocked out the only source of natural light onto the first and second storey landings of the pub, which are used for photography. The income from this business pays the venue’s mortgage, subsidises live music nights, and funds the restoration of the 600 year old Grade II listed building.

Landlady Pauline Forster said in a statement: “I am relieved and happy that the judges have recognised the importance of the historic George Tavern, a local pub, live music venue, film, fashion and art shoot location, and my home. I have battled tirelessly over nine years for something I truly love and believe in. And I will continue to do so. May the light shine through and live music live on!”

“This judgment shows the courts really are prepared to protect grassroots music venues in London and warns planners not to take a one size fits all approach”, added barrister Annabel Graham Paul. “Pauline Forster has battled tirelessly to save The George Tavern and this is fantastic result for her and for grassroots music venues further afield too”.

Why not celebrate this news by heading down to the George this coming Sunday to see Japanese ‘math-folk’ musician Echoscape.