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Carlton Tavern rises from the rubble and reopens to locals

The Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale, which was illegally demolished in 2015, reopened to customers indoors this week after council forced developers to rebuild it brick-by-brick.

Councillor Green pouring a pint of beer at the newly reopened Carlton Tavern

Published: 20 May 2021

This follows a campaign by local residents and Westminster City Council to rebuild and restore the Carlton Tavern to its original condition after developers CLTX Ltd. demolished the pub without planning permission. The council served CLTX with a planning enforcement notice in 2015.

In 2016, the Planning Inspectorate dismissed CLTX’s appeal at a public inquiry and ruled in favour of the council, meaning that the pub would have to rebuilt. Since then, officers from Westminster’s planning enforcement team have worked closely with the architects and builders to ensure the completion of the pub.

The Carlton Tavern reopened to customers outside in April, and from 17 May is welcoming customers inside to view the spectacularly restored 1920s interior. Councillor Matthew Green, Westminster’s Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, joined new landlords Ben Martin and Tom Rees on 17 May to pull a celebratory pint.

Local residents and regular customers of the Carlton Tavern for several decades, John O’Brien and Jimmy Graham, were there for the opening day. Jimmy Graham, 94, said he had been going to the Carlton Tavern “more or less my whole life”.

Councillor Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, said:

This is a momentous day for the Carlton Tavern and a victory for residents, local campaigners, and Westminster City Council. The council has been working towards reopening the Carlton Tavern since the day it was illegally knocked down and customers can now enjoy its historic 1920s interior for the first time in six years.

Not only is this pub incredibly popular with local residents, but it plays an important role in our city's heritage, being the only building in the street to survive the Blitz during the Second World War. The rebuilding of the pub sends a message of hope, but also serves as a warning to developers that Westminster City Council will not tolerate the kind of vandalism that led to its demolition in the first place. I am thrilled to see this popular local institution reopening its doors and thriving as a hub of the community once more.