Campaign for Real Ale backs fight to save Worcester Park pub

Surrey Comet: June Fraser outside the Worcester Park Tavern June Fraser outside the Worcester Park Tavern

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has joined the fight to save a pub described as a lifeline for the community.

The national voluntary organisation that campaigns for real ale, community pubs and consumer rights, is backing the battle by residents to save the Worcester Park Tavern.

Residents fear the landmark pub, which is in a prime site near Worcester Park station, could be knocked down for flats, having been put up for sale in May, by owners Spirit Pub Company.

Pub regular June Fraser, 57, launched the campaign to save the "beautiful" pub, including a petition, which has gained more than 300 signatures and said CAMRA’s support would be invaluable.

She said: "It’s just a godsend for me really. I am absolutely delighted that they are supporting us. It really taken us up another level.

"This won’t get resolved overnight, it might take a couple of years but we will fight it."

Pubs preservation officer for the Kingston and Leatherhead branch of CAMRA David Parmee will be sitting on the campaign committee, which now meets weekly.

Mr Parmee said it was difficult to say if the campaign would be successful but that CAMRA would offer the group guidance, including planning and legal advice.

He said: "When the local community decides it wants to save a pub CAMRA gets involved addressing the needs of the community action group.

"It’s very important that this is the local community that takes the lead, it’s not for us to say ‘save this pub’."

The pub underwent a £1m revamp in 2002 but has since become dilapidated and run down.

A spokesman for Spirit Pub Company said the Worcester Park Tavern would remain open for the "short term" and the company would update staff on developments.

To show your support visit facebook.com/savetheworcesterparktavern.

Comments (5)

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1:10pm Wed 20 Jun 12

john72 says...

Pubs such as the Worcester Park Tavern are 'community assets' and should have the backing of the council. The Localism Bill 2011 has been set up precisely to protect neighborhoods and communities who are getting fed up with seeing all their local facilities such as libraries, post offices and Pubs being shut down and converted into betting shops, takeaway joints or demolished for luxury flats.

Already in Sutton The Woodman, The Dolphin, The Sydney Arms and The Angel have been closed down. Not all of these were great venues but they all gave the opportunity for locals to meet up, socialise and drink in a responsible manner.

As things stand many more Pubs in the area will come under threat.

This is not to say it is all the councils and governments fault. Many Pubs shut down because not enough people visit them. Landlords and Licensees need to make sure their enterprises are successful and encourage wider sections of the community to visit. Different groups of patrons such as wheel chairs users, ethnic groups, families and in particular female customers all need to be made welcome and feel safe in order for these establishments to remain viable and successful in modern 21st century London.

The trouble being the majority of pubs, especially those in London/Surrey, are owned by Pubco's who at the moment can make more money disposing of these sites to developers than running them as going concerns.

Its just what the borough doesn't need ....more takeaway shops, off licenses, betting shops and un-affordable housing. Most anti-social behavior is from people drinking on the streets or those that have been binge drinking in the clubs and bars that are at the top of Sutton High Street.

Closing down community pubs is turning many neighborhoods into isolated places where there is little room for social interaction.

If the Worcester Park Tavern gets demolished think of all the heritage that goes down with it. People got engaged and toasted newborns there over the last century. Locals have enjoyed live music and other fundraising events and community activities at this venue. I suspect their were celebrations there to mark the end of the WW1 & WW2, maybe even the Boar War and the end of the Falklands War. I don't know as I wan't around then, but knock this establishment down and all that history goes with it.

I thoroughly support all the actions of the activists fighting to save the lovely property and encourage all of you who are getting sick of seeing our lovely pubs closing down to support the campaign to save the Worcester Park Tavern.....

Come on everyone lets beat the developers and council planners and save this place for our benefit and that of future generations !!!!
Pubs such as the Worcester Park Tavern are 'community assets' and should have the backing of the council. The Localism Bill 2011 has been set up precisely to protect neighborhoods and communities who are getting fed up with seeing all their local facilities such as libraries, post offices and Pubs being shut down and converted into betting shops, takeaway joints or demolished for luxury flats. Already in Sutton The Woodman, The Dolphin, The Sydney Arms and The Angel have been closed down. Not all of these were great venues but they all gave the opportunity for locals to meet up, socialise and drink in a responsible manner. As things stand many more Pubs in the area will come under threat. This is not to say it is all the councils and governments fault. Many Pubs shut down because not enough people visit them. Landlords and Licensees need to make sure their enterprises are successful and encourage wider sections of the community to visit. Different groups of patrons such as wheel chairs users, ethnic groups, families and in particular female customers all need to be made welcome and feel safe in order for these establishments to remain viable and successful in modern 21st century London. The trouble being the majority of pubs, especially those in London/Surrey, are owned by Pubco's who at the moment can make more money disposing of these sites to developers than running them as going concerns. Its just what the borough doesn't need ....more takeaway shops, off licenses, betting shops and un-affordable housing. Most anti-social behavior is from people drinking on the streets or those that have been binge drinking in the clubs and bars that are at the top of Sutton High Street. Closing down community pubs is turning many neighborhoods into isolated places where there is little room for social interaction. If the Worcester Park Tavern gets demolished think of all the heritage that goes down with it. People got engaged and toasted newborns there over the last century. Locals have enjoyed live music and other fundraising events and community activities at this venue. I suspect their were celebrations there to mark the end of the WW1 & WW2, maybe even the Boar War and the end of the Falklands War. I don't know as I wan't around then, but knock this establishment down and all that history goes with it. I thoroughly support all the actions of the activists fighting to save the lovely property and encourage all of you who are getting sick of seeing our lovely pubs closing down to support the campaign to save the Worcester Park Tavern..... Come on everyone lets beat the developers and council planners and save this place for our benefit and that of future generations !!!! john72

2:41pm Wed 20 Jun 12

Michael Pantlin says...

Please remember to try to save our St. Helier Hospital too about to lose its A&E, Maternity, Childrens Services and Pathology. Tooting is a tiresome journey from Sutton.
Please remember to try to save our St. Helier Hospital too about to lose its A&E, Maternity, Childrens Services and Pathology. Tooting is a tiresome journey from Sutton. Michael Pantlin

11:01am Thu 21 Jun 12

mr-bjp says...

Since when was a pub a LIFELINE for the community, unless your an alcoholic of course.
Since when was a pub a LIFELINE for the community, unless your an alcoholic of course. mr-bjp

11:12am Thu 21 Jun 12

crumblyoldruins says...

Well-supported community pubs like the Worcester Park Tavern are precisely the sort CAMRA works to protect. Their role is unique in British culture and their role in community cohesion well recognised in the 2012 IPPR report for CAMRA by Rick Muir "Pubs and Places". Pubs are not only a place to drink alcohol, but for many other types of social activity including live music, club meetings and charity fund-raising. Too many are being lost by conversion to retail and other unsympathetic uses, or being demolished for redevelopment. Local authorities have a responsibility under the newly-arrived National Planning Policy Framwork (Para 70) to protect community facilities, particularly pubs. Kingston Council is urged to heed the input of the campaign group and protect the Worcester Park Tavern and others in its borough from inappropriate development proposals.
Well-supported community pubs like the Worcester Park Tavern are precisely the sort CAMRA works to protect. Their role is unique in British culture and their role in community cohesion well recognised in the 2012 IPPR report for CAMRA by Rick Muir "Pubs and Places". Pubs are not only a place to drink alcohol, but for many other types of social activity including live music, club meetings and charity fund-raising. Too many are being lost by conversion to retail and other unsympathetic uses, or being demolished for redevelopment. Local authorities have a responsibility under the newly-arrived National Planning Policy Framwork (Para 70) to protect community facilities, particularly pubs. Kingston Council is urged to heed the input of the campaign group and protect the Worcester Park Tavern and others in its borough from inappropriate development proposals. crumblyoldruins

9:08am Mon 25 Jun 12

emelem says...

it's become too expensive to drink out any more. why don't those who say they need a pub to socialize visit each other at their homes? it's cheaper and you don't have to go outside to smoke :) or do these people have no friends and just talk to anyone who walks through the door of said pub?
it's become too expensive to drink out any more. why don't those who say they need a pub to socialize visit each other at their homes? it's cheaper and you don't have to go outside to smoke :) or do these people have no friends and just talk to anyone who walks through the door of said pub? emelem

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