A host of artists and celebrities inclusing punk poet John Cooper Clarke, Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson and Lianne La Havas have backed a campaign to save London’s The George Tavern.
The venue in Stepney, east London, has been under threat for eight years from developers wanting to turn the neighbouring building (the former Stepney’s nightclub where Pulp shot the video for ‘Commn People’ in 1995) into six flats. Landlady Pauline Foster says that if the development went ahead, the pub and venue could close because of noise complaints. She also argues that the building work could damage the Grade II listed building – a claim developers deny.
The long fight to save the venue, which features in Plan B’s film Ill Manors and was the site for the debut video for Nick Cave’s Grinderman project, became urgent this week as campaigners only have until tomorrow (March 5) to present their reasons for opposing developer Swan Housing group’s proposals. Its plans were originally denied by Tower Hamlets council but the developers appealed this decision.
A petition to save the pub and venue has gathered nearly 2,000 signatures and more than 1,000 written comments supporting it. Back the campaign here.
Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson, who watched singers from The Voice play a gig at the pub to promote the campaign, said: “Live music is something this country should be very proud of. It does not start on the television screen, it starts on a sticky carpet in front of a dusty curtain.”
Landlady Pauline Foster told the Evening Standard: “Six flats next to a pub and music venue, with events until 3am – it’s very obvious that anyone living there won’t be able to tolerate it. I would lose my licence or it would be restricted and the George Tavern really needs its music to pay its way. If you don’t put up a fight, it’s easy for developers to get their way in this climate when people are being told there isn’t enough affordable housing.”
A spokesperson for Swan Housing Association spokeswoman told the newspaper: “Substantial acoustic testing and analysis has been undertaken and every effort made in the design of the scheme to ensure minimal noise exposure for new residents.”