‘It’s better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.’ The phrase is practically a mantra amongst real estate developers. However, when ambitious developers began leveling a London pub to make way for luxury condos, the community struck back.
The developer was forced to rebuild the beloved Carlton Tavern—literally—brick by brick.
The Carlton opened in the 1920’s, but the problems began in April 2015. Landlords CTLX were denied permission to convert the space into ten condo units. In fact, the pub was on course to receive landmark-type protections.
So, naturally, CTLX, decided to raze the property before the approval could come in. Fortunately, over 5000 locals joined in the Rebuild the Carlton Tavern campaign. After years of legal challenges, the developers were ordered to rebuild the tavern—exactly as it was.
“They said it would be too difficult to do, but we had an answer for that,” Rebuild leader Polly Robertson told The Guardian. “We had a suspicion before the demolition that they would do something, so we asked English Heritage to think about listing it. They took a plaster cast of every tile, they took pictures and documented everything.”
Reassembled to the smallest detail, the new-old Carlton Tavern is lated to reopen on April 12 when bars are exempted (again) from COVID lockdowns.