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London borough to extend local listing protection to 37 pubs

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has extended local listing protection to 37 pubs of historic and cultural significance.

According to Tower Hamlets this is the first time a council has used its powers to protect such a large number of pubs at once.

Elected mayor John Biggs said: “Pubs have been the beating heart of communities in the East End for generations. They are local landmarks and valued additions to the landscape in our borough. Many of those that remain still have their original features intact – a charming nod to a bygone era.

“Sadly, across the country we have seen more and more examples of traditional venues closing in recent years and it is right that where we can, we take steps to protect these heritage assets.”

All 37 pubs listed lie outside conservation areas but local listing gives them a degree of protection, the council said.

Pubs were chosen based on: local character and distinctiveness; architectural significance; historical significance; artistic significance; age, rarity and integrity; social significance.

The council’s policy document on listing the pubs said they were often located on street corners, sometimes forming a local landmark important in terms of people finding their way.

Several smaller pubs are located within or at the end of terraces of commercial or residential properties with distinctive ground floors which, unlike shopfronts, tended to retain original or historically interesting features.

Mark Smulian