The George Tavern

Media contact:
For more information please contact James on 07850 374 815 or email  
Alternatively contact landlady Pauline on 020 7790 7335 or at 

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

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

3. See for up-to-date listings of what's on at the George Tavern.

Campaign site: 

Live music venue wins at Court of Appeal, but battle continues 

1 July 2016

The Court of Appeal have ruled in favour of East London music venue and pub, The George Tavern, by overturning a planning decision to allow new flats to be built in close proximity to the established venue. The George 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. The decision means that the George has won this round of legal battles, but further legal appeals may lie ahead.

The judgment turned on the fact that the luxury flats would have seriously jeopardised the unique location and photography business at the George since the only natural light source onto the first and second storey landings and historic staircase would have been eliminated. Profits from this business pay the mortgage, subsidise the live music venue and fund the ongoing restoration of the 600 year-old Grade II listed building based in Stepney, East London.

The court also had a lot to say about the way that developments like this threaten traditional live music venues in London due to the risk of noise complaints.

Landlady Pauline Forster has been fighting plans to build on the site adjacent to the grassroots music venue for nine years and has been backed by a number of celebrities and artists including Kaiser Chiefs’ singer, and The Voice judge, Ricky Wilson, Amy Winehouse, Lianne La Havas, Florence & The Machine, Olympian diver Tom Daley, super-models Kate Moss and Georgia May Jagger, and actor Sir Ian McKellen. Over 6,000 have signed petitions calling for the George Tavern to be saved.

The George was represented at the Court of Appeal by barrister, Annabel Graham Paul of Francis Taylor Building, and Harry Campbell and Susan Ring of Harrison Grant Solicitors. The Secretary of State has applied to the Judges to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court; whether they will be successful remains to be seen.

Barrister Annabel Graham Paul said, “This judgment shows the courts really are prepared to protect grassroots music venues in London and warns planners not to take a one size fits all approach. Pauline Forster has battled tirelessly to save The George Tavern and this is fantastic result for her and for grassroots music venues further afield too".

Landlady Pauline Forster said, “I am relieved and happy that the Judges have recognised the importance of the historic George Tavern, a local pub, live music venue, film, fashion and art shoot location, and my home. I have battled tirelessly over nine nine years for something I truly love and believe in. And I will continue to do so. May the light shine through and live music live on!”

James Ketchell, Chief Executive of Music Heritage UK, who have been supporting the campaign said, “This is a huge victory for the entire live music community in London and for grassroots campaigning. It’s now time for the developers to do the right thing, realise they should cut their losses, and scrap these inappropriate plans.”

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