Fulham Pubs Face Escalating Threats

Premises across SW6 face closure and redevelopment

Application made to turn The Wellington into flats
Application made to turn The Wellington into flats

April 17, 2023

Soaring costs and dwindling customer numbers are leading to a fast growing list of pubs in Fulham facing closure and redevelopment.

At 56 Haldane Road, west of North End Road, The Wellington has been empty since closing in March last year and now a company called Manica Properties Ltd has submitted an application to Hammersmith & Fulham Council to redevelop the ground floor and basement to create three new self-contained flats.

A marketing report accompanying the application, produced by specialist agency Jenkins Law says that demand for the existing pub has been extremely limited and it has been marketed for 12 months without receiving any offers.

The report says that the quiet and hidden away location in a residential street has been the key issue, leading to three failed tenancies in eight years.

The report adds, “ The cost-of-living crisis, alongside rising energy prices has put further downward pressure on the market and impacted interest further.

“ We consider that it is unrealistic for the property to continue as a public house use, evidenced by the previous tenants failing and the extremely poor level of interest throughout the marketing campaign.”

The application, which can be seen in full using the reference 023/00756/FUL is for:

Change of use of the basement and ground floor level from a public house (Class Sui Generis) into 1 x 1 bedroom and 2 x 2 bedroom self-contained flats (Class C3); installation of 1no rooflight above the roof of ground floor; formation of an enclosed refuse storage with double door opening by replacing the existing single door to the front (south eastern) elevation; replacement of 1no existing window with 2no windows and 1no door and replacement of 3no existing windows with 3no full height windows to the side (south western) elevation at ground floor level.

If permission is granted The Wellington will be the second pub on this short road to disappear. On the junction of Haldane and North End Roads, The Barrow Boy, which had existed as a pub since the 1860s under its former name the Jolly Brewers, was forced to close eight years ago.

Latest closure of the Imperial Arms could be permanent

Since then, the upper floors have been converted to flats while the ground floor has hosted several different restaurants and is currently being converted to a chicken shop.

The short stretch of Kings Road west of the Chelsea borders was once home to five thriving pubs, but today just one is still operating - the “first pub in Fulham”, formerly the Lost Hours, which reopened last autumn as the King’s House.

A few yards away at 577 Kings Road, The Imperial Arms has now remained closed for several months. This 150 year-old Victorian pub has struggled in recent years, closing down once before in 2019 when its operating company collapsed.

Now it appears, despite being very busy on football match days, it has been forced to shut down again, and this closure appears to be permanent as its phone number no longer works and we received no response to our enquiries.

Across Kings Road at its junction with Holmead Road, the Chelsea Lodge finally closed its doors at the end of last year, This venue, which invited people to “experience opulence at our deluxe nightclub and bar” had its licence reviewed and restrictions placed on it by H&F Council following an incident last March when a “bottomless brunch” led to three girls, including a teenager aged 17, being hospitalised.

The closure was welcomed by local people who had been plagued by late night anti-social behaviour and the site, which was formerly a pub called the Wheatsheaf, is still empty.

Chelsea Lodge closed afte 'bottomless brunch' scandal
Chelsea Lodge closed afte 'bottomless brunch' scandal

Two other pubs, the Morrison Bar and Lounge and the Hand and Flower, both closed some years ago with the buildings, which sit opposite each other on Kings Road redeveloped to create flats on the upper floor with retail space on the ground floors.

In nearby Waterford Road, the Tommy Tucker - formerly The Pelican - closed suddenly last October, with owner the Stonegate Pub Company posting A Notice of Peaceable Re-entry on its windows and sealing the premises.

A pub has stood on this site, on the corner of Waterford Road and Moore Park Road, since at least the 19th century, when it was called the Princess Royal. However, it has now been empty for the last six months and though the pub company said it would reopen “in due course” its future as a pub remains uncertain.

Another major loss in 2022 was the Oyster Rooms, on the first floor of Fulham Broadway Shopping Centre, which was closed down by owners JD Wetherspoon last March. As we reported in February, this site is yet another now being redeveloped, this time to create flexible co-working office space run by Spacemade.

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