Shock As Historic Pub Demolished Without Permission

James Drury
By James Drury Last edited 36 months ago
Shock As Historic Pub Demolished Without Permission

A historic pub in Kilburn which survived being bombed in the second world war has been demolished by developers without permission from the council.

Residents were incredulous to learn that builders turned up and knocked down the Carlton Tavern, with all the contents — including a flat screen television, darts board and glasses — still inside.

The pub was sold to developer CLTX who submitted plans to Westminster council to turn it into a pub on the ground floor, with 10 flats over four floors. But the plans were rejected by the local authority.

Maida Vale councillor Jan Prendergast told Londonist: "“I'm horrified for the local residents that this has occurred. It came as such a shock to everyone. There was no prior warning to the council, no approvals and no proper health and safety procedures in place.

"This was a lovely pub and I'm sorry to see it go, but I'm more concerned for the residents in Maida Vale for whom they showed no consideration whatsoever. It was the last building standing in Carlton vale after the second world war bombings.

"I've lived in the area for 35 years and have never seen anything like this before. We need to take very careful legal advice as to what steps we can take."

And Cllr Tom Crockett said: "The council, my fellow councillors nor local residents had any notice of this demolition which I saw with my own eyes being conducted without any obvious safety precautions such as hoardings, barriers or formal traffic controls. All took place as children on school holidays played outside and unsuspecting traffic went past through clouds of smoke and dust.

"The demolition clearly took place under a cloak of secrecy; the locals nor the landlady knew. Televisions remained on the walls and the bar appeared fully stocked.

"We are urging officers to take the strongest action open to them. I have personally taken the time to ensure that photographic and film evidence has been collated and passed to officers for referral to the Health and Safety Executive whom I urge to consider bringing prosecutions."

A Westminster council spokesperson told Londonist: "Westminster City Council’s Planning Enforcement Team received a report that the Carlton Tavern was in the process of being demolished. A planning inspector of the planning enforcement team visited the site immediately following receipt of the report and noted at 2.30pm that the building had indeed been substantially demolished with only one side wall remaining.

“The building’s demolition required the City Council’s prior approval and as no such approval was sought or obtained, the City Council will be seeking legal advice concerning whether any future action is legally possible.

"Pubs play an important role in our local community."

A spokesperson for Historic England — formerly known as English Heritage — said: "The Carlton Tavern built in 1920-21 for Charrington & Co, probably by Frank J Potter, was an early inter-war improved public house, carefully detailed and built of good quality materials, showing the vision of a leading London brewery.

"The site was remarkably well-preserved externally and internally, it displayed the hierarchy of rooms in their fixtures, fittings and decorative treatment and retained all its external signage. We intended to recommend the site for listing at grade II, however this is not confirmation it would have been listed — the Department for Culture Media and Sport is responsible for deciding which sites are designated and at what grade."

Last Updated 09 April 2015

Lizzie Cornish

Sue these bastards to Kingdom Come and back again! How DARE they do this! Who the hell do they think they are?!!!

Neil Evans

These people should be barred from being directors of companies for 6 years, and barred from holding positions involving planning, furthermore the council should seize the land for the community.


Absolutely shocking. No planning permission should be granted for this plot, ever, they should be sued into oblivion and the person or people responsible should be put in prison for a good long time. Disgraceful.


I wonder if the consequences will indeed be severe, or if this is a case of they know they'll get away with it. It's much easier to apologise than get permission.


This is the planning application:

This is the application:

Company is CLTX Ltd in Lennox Gardens SW1X

Permission was refused due to the lack of affordable housing provision

Greedy bastards. I hope they are sued for so much that they go bust.


Make them rebuild it back to the original specifications. Or pay a £100M fine.


Looks like the company CLTX Ltd has applied to be struck off. If they are responsible for this, then perhaps there will be no one to sue? Any company law peeps about?


Find out where they live and send the Bulldozers round there and do the same!


Now, now. This is Westminster. The correct people will discuss this with their friends and all will be forgiven, as usual. Westminster - great for developers - hell for residents

Peter Whitlock

They know they're in for a fine and what they did was illegal. They're happy to offset the fine against the profit they're hoping to make. The best course of action is for the local council ensure that the land will NEVER be developed on. Hit them where it hurts - in the pocket.

Scream Nevermore

Planning permission was sought in June 2014 on behalf of CLTX Ltd by Kieran Rafferty, of KR Planning. or @krplanning. I think we should all let him know how we feel about this.

Peter Christopher Trelawney Co

The developer's and builders should be locked up and left to rot.

Andy C

There are more out there who will do this - developers across this land 'kindly' offering to demolish and build new houses where councils have not got a full 5 year housing strategy and then using the National Planning Policy Framework (meant to cut red tape for the better not to be abused to destroy, needlessly these heritage assets) to fill the 'gap'. I hope these are made a massive example of and sued to hell. There has to be a deterrent for this sort of vandalism of our nation's assets. Utterly disgraceful. see

to see what else is typically at risk!

Steven Froud

Quite agree they should rebuild it back to the original specifications, salvaging as much of the original material as possible. This sort of behaviour should be accompanied with a hefty prison sentence. Heritage is an asset to the country, destroying it is an affront to the whole nation, and is a statement indicating they don't respect the culture or laws of the country they live in.


Drove past this happening today thought fuck me that's come down a bit urgent. I've worked with developers who have cut the odd tree down before getting permission but this is an out & out pisstake planning shouldn't let any permission be granted to the future owners as it will now be sold as is. Fine the fuck out of em so the costs would cause them to relinquish the site lay it to lawn with a nice arty monument of sorts made from whatever is salvageable


This is just horrific! This company are a disgrace and should never be allowed to buy any property to develop in London again. They clearly think they are above the law and can do what the hell they like - I agree with Lizzie below and hope hey are dragged throught the courts and sued to the hilt!!!


This appears to be grounds to seize the property site under compulsory purchase regulations and at a zero fee as penalty for intentional and flagrant breach of planning regulations. If the company has recently applied to be struck-off that may be evidence of intent and planned fraud by the developers. The site can then be used by the council for the benefit of residents. This will be an interesting matter to monitor closely.

Muto Romanof

cafes being fined by councils for outside tables, cars fined for parking offences, but somehow 2 JCB go and destroy a building illegally, in the middle of the day and not a single person from Westminster does nothing about it. im gonna build a house in my garden tomorrow.


Appalling - first boozer I ever took my future wife to when she lived in South Kilburn. Bit quieter than a lot of the pubs further up Kilburn High Road!

Sam Seal

Somewhat more honest than having someone set fire to it, I suppose, which is the usual greedy-boy's trick.

Crime must never pay - that's the principle that all legal agencies must now respect.


I would make them rebuild it brick by brick or else go to jail.

Mark Howe

The developer, Mr. Ori Califf, is an Israeli lawyer - according to the company records for CLTX Ltd.


The ONLY real punishment that will have the most impact for the community, the biggest pain for those who did it and the biggest deterant to others is for them to be made by law (community service) to re-build the pub to original design with the salvaged materials at their expense. The owner of the company should also be banned from ever owning a company in the UK ever again. I also want Boris Johnson to comment on this, he is supposed to be looking after London!

If the Council don't act on this, it will be a free-for-all on what little remains of London's architectural heritage and beauty. It's becoming an endagered species thanks to greedy, often foreign developers.


The Standard has been suspiciously quiet about this story - nothing about it all, even though it's made the national press. Wonder if the Israeli developer is one of Lebedev's mates.


If Mr Calif is acting as a director and ultimate owner of CLTX then it is very likely he was behind the order to destroy the pub in knowing breach of the law. Consequently a complaint to the Israel Bar Association would be warranted (Section 53 on bringing the profession into disrepute)

If he is acting as a director for third party owners of the firm and was unaware of what was planned then I would expect him to resign forthwith as a director.

Finally if he is, eventually, convicted of a criminal offence then a complaint to the IBA under section 75 would also work.

Finally it will also be interesting to go after the contractors. I have no idea what idiots they found to do this as a reputable demolition contractor would ask to see all appropriate permissions before commencing work, use proper safety hoardings etc.


yet another greedy developer ...this pub is a part of londons heritage... they should be forced to rebuild it brick by brick ...guaranteed westminster council will give in


Those responsible will get away with this unless this example of 'daylight robbery' is properly punished by Westminster Council. That's maybe a bad contemporary example as I have a sneaky admiration for the Hatton Garden robbers. There are 36 comments on this story, and i'm sure we come from all the same place. This is nothing short of property rape in the name of making a few quid, with no care or regard for a historically significant building. LONDONIST, PLEASE keep on this story. If no one is held to account I guarantee it'll happen time and time again. We CANNOT afford these ***** (can't find words adequate) people to get away with this behaviour in our city.

Anyone else interested in keeping this in the news?


Greedy, money mongers! This is world wide! Here in the states, in Florida, a company hired two immigrant workers to bull doze 40 acres of protected wetlands so they could say, "Oh Well" and build their townhomes and shopping. The two Mexicans were caught and confessed and the company was held accountable and their funds were seized indefinitely.


I suggest everyone follows the Facebook page and keeps an eye out for developments.


who are CTLX?

that is the question, who are the directors behind this? What other shady business interests they are involved in? They should be prosecuted and imprisoned, hefty fines are not sufficient deterrent.


Peter Hinchliffe

Refuse all planning permission for the site, insist it is turned into green area. Hurt them in the pocket, its the only place they have feelings.

Patrick Roy

Hmmm... CLTX - looks like he wasn't much of a property developer and a recently received First Notification Of Strike-off Action on 9 April, probably because he didn't file ---

Ori Calif, international tax lawyer, is just a stooge for the developer. Someone should look deeper into this as this - this was a MAJOR catastrophe. This was not a brownfield site, absolutely shocking. The developer should NOT be allowed to develop it without further consultation.

The homebuilder's name is on the great planks of wood on the side, Maida Vale Councillors what are you going to do about this crime????


This strike off thing is it like a tax evasion scheme? So if it all goes wrong there is no one liable?


Good points! This needs to be looked at in depth. What exactly is a notification for strike off?

Patrick Roy

There is a demonstration at what's left of the pub on the 26th of April. 1pm.


Emotion aside, I am wondering, if this building wasn't listed, was outside a conservation area, not housing, and not subject to an injunction preventing it, what was stopping it from being demolished?

Sure the L.A. can refuse approval for a new replacement, but ordering it to be reconstructed needs some backing in law, not just councillors getting stroppy after the event....can anyone advise what the legal position for them making an order for reconstruction is?