After the euphoria about the Half Moon pub reopening following a closure of more than two and half years, it now seems its future is once again in the balance.
Fuller’s have submitted a planning application for a gastropub-style operation with a large kitchen and eating area taking over the internal parts of the pub formerly used as a music venue. Local activists have been vigorously campaigning to get the music venue restored, and the planning application has attracted more than 200 comments, mostly objections, with a petition to save the music venue so far reaching more than 7000 signatures. The pub has been designated as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) which campaigners see as a step towards saving the pub as a music venue for the community.
Now Fuller’s have made it clear that they don’t plan to run it as a music venue as they claim it is outside their field of expertise. It is also clear that Fuller’s leasing the pub from the Dulwich Estate is dependent on getting planning consent for the restaurant and the deal will fall through if planning consent fails and/or they are required to provide a music venue inside the building which they are not interested in providing. The Estate are challenging the ACV designation of the Half Moon Public House as it “protects the use of the property as a public house only – it does not secure any part of the premises as a venue for live entertainment since this is ancillary to the primary use of property as a public house. The planning application by Fullers does not propose any change of use to the ground floor which will remain as a public house.”
Expect a battle royal between Fuller’s and the campaigners at the sub-planning committee hearing currently scheduled for 8th March. If Fuller’s exit, local campaigners may look to take the pub into community ownership and run it as a music venue.
What would you like to see happen at the Half Moon? Is the loss of a music venue a showstopper or would you be happy to see it reopen as a gastropub helping to increase footfall for local shops?
Further reading: Statement from the Dulwich Estate Half Moon Pub ACV designation
Latest from Save the Half Moon campaign: https://www.facebook.com/groups/savethehalfmoon/permalink/1290919570925650/