Some might expect me to be talking about the Lewisham hospital shenanigans, wherein one branch of the state has sued another branch of the state to ensure that the state keeps spending money it hasn’t got on things that need to be shaken up. Yes, I think that Lewisham should be kept open, for both selfish (it’s my closest hospital) and non-selfish (IMO, it’s clinically better than the one that was to be saved at Lewisham’s expense) reasons. But I disagree fundamentally with the idea that the courts were the place to sort this, and I almost hope that the decision is overturned on appeal, because the precedent is very very nasty.
But this post isn’t about that; this post is about a local pub’s shenanigans.
The background from last November was this: the owner of a building in Catford wanted to end the lease of their tenant (a successful and popular bar) and turn it into flats and a shop. The tenants didn’t like this at all (fair enough), and created a bit of a public fuss (again, fair enough) and campaigned for the council to block any change of use for the building (bloody out of order). This then worked, because there’s nothing Lewisham council like more than extending their business into places where it shouldn’t be, for e.g. what a property owner chooses to use his business premises for. So the owner was left with a building that could only be used as a pub because the tenants convinced the council to make it so.
This displeased me, and I wrote about it last year:
The landlord is now left with a building that can’t be anything but a pub. But the tenants in it are clearly a bunch of twats. So what I’d do in his position is get rid of the tenants and bring in new ones to run a pub.
Fast forward to this week:
THE Catford Bridge Tavern pub – saved from being turned into a supermarket and later voted the best in south east London – is being sold off.
Company Antic say the landlord has agreed to sell the building to another pub company.
Max Alderman from Antic said: “The building was always for sale and we were trying to buy it.
“We thought we had an agreement but the landlord has decided to sell it to someone else.”
Fair play to the landlord, I think. Because if it was me, the last person I’d sell it to would be the one who bullied me by bringing the state to the argument and lowering the value of the property.
I’m sad to see what was by all accounts a brilliant pub have to shut. But I’m not sad to see the people who took the steps they did lose out in the end.