The George Tavern

Media contact:
For more information please contact James on 07850 374 815 or email james@musicheritageuk.org.  
Alternatively contact landlady Pauline on 020 7790 7335 or at pauline.georgetavern@gmail.com 

Notes to editors:
1. A range of pictures, as well as the history of the campaign, are available on the dedicated mini-site: http://savethegeorgetavern.com   

2. Music Heritage UK is a charity which exists to promote, protect and preserve the nation’s popular music heritage, please visit
http://www.musicheritageuk.org  for more information.

3. See http://www.thegeorgetavern.co.uk for up-to-date listings of what's on at the George Tavern.

Website: http://www.musicheritageuk.org 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MusicHeritageUK 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/musicheritageUK
Blog: http://musicheritageuk.tumblr.com
Campaign site: http://savethegeorgetavern.com 

Campaign to save music venue the George Tavern dealt huge blow as Planning Inspectorate sides with property developers 

31 October 2014

The future of the George Tavern as a music venue was dealt a huge blow as the Planning Inspectorate sided with property developers looking to build flats on an adjacent plot next to the established business.

The George Tavern, a 600 year old, Grade II listed building located at 373 Commercial Road, Stepney, East London has hosted the likes of Nick Cave, Plan B, John Cooper Clarke, The Magic Numbers, Kodaline and even Sir Roger Penrose on its intimate stage.

Over 3,000 signed a petition in March urging the Planning Inspectorate to uphold Tower Hamlet’s decision and refuse planning permission for six residential units. The campaign was also backed by a number of celebrities and artists including Kaiser Chief and The Voice judge Ricky Wilson, London Grammar, and Sir Ian McKellen.

The decision means that the flats are one step closer to being built and will bring a number of new residents in close proximity to a venue which has a license for entertainment until 3am. Just one noise complaint would seriously curtail the activity of the pub which can only survive thanks to its diverse live musical line-up which attracts music fans from all over London.

Landlady of the George Tavern, Pauline Foster said, "The decision to approve the development of six flats will seriously threaten the future of The George as a live music venue potentially closing down a pub that has existed since 1600s, and which is mentioned in Pepys Diary and Chaucer's Tales."

"Once again London’s property developers have succeeded in forcing through plans which will only serve to make their shareholders and directors happy. Plans which are to the detriment of an established business and the artistic, musical and cultural communities of East London. I’m saddened by this whole process and their final decision."

“Tower Hamlets is one of the most densely populated borough in London and it has also exceeded its quota of social, affordable and new builds. Is it really worth losing a well established historical tavern for the sake of a further six luxury new builds in the area?"

Music Heritage UK, a charity which exists to promote, protect and preserve the UK's popular music heritage, also back the campaign. 

James Ketchell, Chief Executive of Music Heritage UK said, "This decision shows a complete lack of common sense and thanks to our country’s outdated and imbalanced rules around noise, means that the George Tavern is now potentially at risk of closure from only a single noise complaint from a new resident. 

"We’re urging the Government to address this issue as gentrification and rising property prices have meant many venues are now in a similar situation to the George Tavern.  A simple fix to this would be to adopt the ‘agent of change’ principle which has been successfully introduced in Australia and which puts the onus on the developers to soundproof existing venues and safeguard their future."

The George Tavern is considering the next step to appeal the decision at the High Court and remains open and dedicated to hosting the best in up and coming music on its intimate stage.

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