Campaigners disappointed as future of The Wheatsheaf pub in Tooting Bec remains unclear
Campaigners claim the council is ignoring their bid to stop the Wheatsheaf pub from becoming a supermarket, after a decision on its future was delayed indefinitely.
A decision on The Wheatsheaf pub was expected at Tuesday night’s planning committee, however Wandsworth Council said waiting for new planning policies, to be published in September, would offer the necessary protection for the pub, although they are not likely to come into force until next year.
A public consultation was launched in February to see if the pub should be granted an Article Four direction, which means any plans to change the use would be considered by elected councillors.
Although the council did back an Article Four direction they argued it would not stop the owner’s right to change the use of the site.
About 1,500 residents have signed a letter by Tooting MP Sadiq Khan asking for the council to use planning law to protect the pub.
Mr Khan said the drawing-out of the process left the pub at risk, when it could have been saved.
MP Sadiq Khan
He said: “It is clear the wishes of greedy developers are more important than concerned local residents.
"The council's original excuse to delay granting an immediate Article Four direction was that they wanted to consult local residents.
"Now that they have, rather than listen to the responses to their own consultation, they have ignored them.
“Which really begs the question, why carry out a consultation at all if there was no intention to listen to the results?”
Deputy council leader Councillor Jonathan Cook said: “The only way to stop the Wheatsheaf and many other well-loved pubs being turned into shops is to give them protected status within our local planning policies.
“Officers have now begun drafting the supplementary planning guidance and we expect it to come into force next year once the statutory legal process has been completed.
“We are one of the first councils to go down this route and take the decisive action necessary to protect the local pubs our residents value so highly.”