A pubic inquiry has begun to decide if the historic Maida Vale pub, which was bulldozed without permission, should be rebuilt brick by brick.
The Carlton Tavern, which had stood in Carlton Vale since 1921 and was the only building on the street to survive the Blitz, was demolished in April last year in breach of planning laws and in spite of the fact it was being considered for Grade II listing.
Westminster City Council, which had earlier rejected an application for redevelopment on the site by developers CLTX Ltd, served an enforcement notice requiring the brick by brick rebuilding of the popular community pub.
However, CLTX Ltd have not done so and appealed to the planning inspectorate. As a result, a public inquiry was called by the council and began on Tuesday (May 17), which will now decide the future of the pub.
Cllr Robert Davis, Westminster City Council cabinet member for the build environment, said: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the residents of Westminster in wanting to see the Carlton Tavern rebuilt brick-by-brick.
"The strength of feeling from the community is clear and the council has done all it can to support them in seeing this part of the city’s special heritage reinstated.
“Throughout this unfortunate story, I have been committed to doing all I can to see the situation rectified.
"It is my sincere hope that this planning inquiry will help us do that and I look forward to hearing our case being put forward in the strongest possible terms by the council’s officers, as well as by local people themselves.”
The levelling of the pub took place with no prior warning to the council, no approvals and no proper health and safety procedures in place.
Historic England said it “intended to recommend the site for listing”.