We’re involved in a campaign to try and #SaveTheGeorgeTavern in Stepney, East London. We are an iconic music venue, photo shoot location, and historic pub which has stood for over 600 years on site which is currently at risk from a property development on the adjacent famous Stepneys Nightclub by Swan Housing.
The initial fight against their plans for flats started some eight years ago. Landlady Pauline Forster has been fighting the developers since then who have used what can only be described as a range of “questionable” tactics against her family and business. Pauline has been subjected to an almost incessant planning and legal fights against plans for inappropriate flats which would subject the existing business to the risk of a single noise complaint which would limit her license and ultimately could curtail her ability to host live music which is the only way they can make ends meet.
Swan appealed the most recent application to build six flats to the Planning Inspectorate last year. They overturned the local authority’s decision to refuse permission based on the fact that residents would be subjected to the noise of the existing business. Pauline took this decision to the High Court and lost, which spurred her on to appeal the decision. After an oral hearing at The Royal Courts of Justice, she won the right to take her appeal to court.
Pauline subsequently won her appeal at The Court of Appeal, quashing the developers plans. Sadly, we were only awarded 50% of our costs in The Court of Appeal and 40% of our costs from the Judicial Review which is highly unusual, as normally when you win a case you are awarded 100% of your costs. This leaves us with a massive debt, despite winning the case.
After Pauline won the appeal, Swan appealed the decision. This appeal has now been dismissed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as of 03/05/17. This is not only a huge victory for The George Tavern, but a signal to all music venues across the UK, who fear that they can be bullied and bought by developers, that the planning system will protect live music venues from inappropriate housing development.
We also now seem to be facing a fresh battle. The developers who now own 2 Jubilee St located next to our beer garden, have just submitted plans to turn the former office building into flats. It only takes one noise complaint to revoke a licence so we must stop this inappropriate development from going ahead. Without our late and live music licence we are toast!
To meet the costs involved in our ongoing battle, we are fundraising and our iconic ‘SAVE THE GEORGE TAVERN’ t-shirts, as worn by a host of celebrities (Kate Moss, Sir Ian McKellen, John Cooper Clarke, Grace Jones, Georgia May Jagger, Tom Daley, Johnny Vegas + more), are available to purchase. We now also stock badges, tote bags and plectrums too.
Here’s how you can help!
Step 1 – Buy a piece of Merchandise (see Paypal buttons below)
Step 2 – Upload a picture of yourself wearing your merch on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Make sure you tag us: Instagram: @savethegeorgetavern, Twitter: @GeorgeTavernE1 or Facebook: TheGeorgeTavern and use #savethegeorgetavern in your post.
Step 3 – We will re-post your picture and add you to our Gallery page, featuring all the supporters!
Make sure you head over to change.org, and sign our petition.
This is a best way to give The George Tavern a fighting chance. We need your help to keep The George Tavern and live music alive!