THE redevelopment of The Swan pub in Harefield can go ahead, after councillors said they were happy with a revised, scaled-down scheme for the site.
There had been stern opposition to the plan to demolish the century-old watering hole in Breakspear Road North and replace it with a two-storey block of six flats. After failing to gain permission, developer Clearview Homes agreed to reduce its size.
Instead of six flats of two bedrooms each, the new scheme has four two-bed and two one-bed flats, and the parking area has been moved to the rear of the site.
The famous swan crest will be removed from the pub before it is knocked down and re-erected on the new building.
Hillingdon Council accepted the project’s revisions and councillors voted unanimously to grant planning permission last Thursday, with little debate about its merits.
Paul Stone, vice-chairman of Harefield Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “The revised plans answered a lot of the objections from before and I was not surprised it was approved.
“I think the pub was struggling for a long time, and it is better to have something there that looks decent rather than a run-down pub. Hopefully it will be an improvement, it is a nice spot there overlooking the pond.”
The previous bid by Clearview to demolish the pub was rejected first by the council and then by an independent planning inspector on appeal in March.
The pub is in Harefield Village Conservation Area and the developer required additional consent to build in the protected zone. This was something the council originally objected to in principle, but a planning inspector had disagreed on this point and officers raised no such concerns over the second planning application.
The village’s conservation panel had also said the plans should be given the go ahead, but described the demolition of the pub as regrettable.
Among the biggest objectors to the Swan’s demolition was the Campaign for Real Ale. However, no pub management company had declared a serious interest in running the pub.