Catford Constitutional Club ’urgent works’ closure statement

On Friday afternoon a press release was issued from Lewisham Council highlighting that the meanwhile use operator of the Catford Constitutional Club, Antic has been served notice to close. I was sent an email the day before, Thursday 15th August, by senior council officers – highlighting the decisions made and action to be taken by London Borough of Lewisham (LBL) and their agents.

Representatives of LBL recently have undertaken detailed and extensive surveys into the condition, structure and fire safety of the Catford Constitutional Club. Findings from those surveys have identified significant health & safety issues, and these issues were deemed so serious by LBL Officers and their agents, that they have been left no option but to close the building and make it safe.

Within that survey I am told a number of issues were highlighted, which weren’t limited to just the very poor condition of the building. Of serious concern to LBL are:

 the roof in the Georgian section of the building, which is in a very dangerous condition and sections of it are at risk of falling down
 certain areas inside the building have been identified as an immediate fire safety risk
 other sections of the roof are loose and tiles are at risk of falling on building users 

In order to make the buildings safe, the Council needs to end the tenancy. Antic as such have been given notice to vacate the building.

The pub will remain closed while the Council undertake this urgent work. The pub I am told, will “reopen as soon as the capital works have been completed and an operator has been found to run it“. LBL estimate that this will take between 3-6 months. When the building is safe, LBLs agents will be taking the opportunity to run a marketing exercise to find an operator for the pub, whilst longer term redevelopment plans are drawn up. Antic will have the same opportunity as other operators to put forward a bid/proposal. LBL are committed to having a pub on this site, but “longer term redevelopment plans also include looking at options for redevelopment that will retain the pub and provide at least 50% affordable housing“.

Please note the site is bigger than the current building the pub is operating from.

Antic London, operators of the pub, currently have a “tenancy-at-will” contract following the end of their meanwhile use lease that ended in 2018. This lease can be ended by either tenant or landlord (LBL) at any time.

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