Property developers could be forced to rebuild unlawfully demolished Stepney Green pub that survived the Blitz

The Carlton pub in Stepney Green was demolished by developers and has now been ordered by the counci

The Carlton pub in Stepney Green was demolished by developers and has now been ordered by the council to be rebuilt. - Credit: Archant

A property development company could be forced to rebuild a 165-year-old East End pub “brick by brick” after it was demolished without permission.

The Carlton pub before it was demolished. Pic: Google

The Carlton pub before it was demolished. Pic: Google - Credit: Archant

Trustee Properties Limited obtained permission last year to develop five flats at The Carlton, a “historically important” two-storey pub in Stepney Green that survived the Blitz.

Tower Hamlets Council approved plans to demolish the first floor of the building and add a three-storey extension and basement but it stipulated that the ground floor should be retained.

The pub, which closed in May, is one of the few buildings in the area to have survived the wartime bombing raids.

It has now been reduced to rubble.

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As part of its approved application, Trustee Properties Limited had vowed to “substantially retain and remodel” the ground floor of the pub, including expanding its kitchen.

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs today accused the developers of “gross abuse” of planning rules and said an investigation would take place.

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He said: “The planning system means we rely on developers being honest … if we have to, we will force them to rebuild it brick by brick.”

In documents submitted earlier this year, the developer said it wanted to bulldoze the entire building because it had “deteriorated beyond repair”.

But planning officers said there was no evidence to support this claim.

The pub is not listed but is next to the Carlton conservation area and listed railway arches.

The council said there would be an “adverse impact” on them if the development caused the loss of all the pub’s “original historical fabric”.

Tower Hamlets demanded that work stop at the site and then it received another application — to rebuild just the timber front of the building.

The agent, Rivington Street Studio Architects, refused to comment.

Developer Jon Bolton of Trustee Properties Limited claimed the front wall had collapsed and had been a “safety hazard”.

He said he would rebuild the pub. “We want to keep it as a pub, just a better one with a restaurant and where the walls aren’t going to cave in,” he said.

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