Matthew Wright is angry about proposals for the Albert pub
Published: 4 June, 2014
By PAVAN AMARA
TV presenter Matthew Wright has appealed to Camden Council to block plans to build a house in the beer garden of a Primrose Hill pub.
Developers have confirmed they are working on proposals to build a house in the garden of The Albert pub in Princess Road.
A spokesman for a company working on the project said: “The pub will still retain around half of its garden. England rains most of the time so I don’t think it matters if the garden is halved.”
In April, developers Springcroft Construction applied to build three flats on the pub’s roof, a request which has already been approved.
Regulars now say the pub must be saved from further development by being listed as an “asset of community value” which would give it added protection.
Mr Wright, who presents Channel Five show The Wright Stuff, has lived in the area for 12 years and regularly drinks in The Albert.
“They are saying the garden shouldn’t be there because the weather is rainy. In that case, why don’t we just get rid of Lord’s cricket ground, because lots of the games are cancelled due to the rain after all? I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous,” he said. “If that is the only argument he can present, then when this goes to the planning committee the council should chuck away this application at the earliest opportunity.”
Mr Wright said he had written to the council on more than 20 occasions on the issue of businesses suffering due to residential conversions.
Phil Cowan, who is spearheading plans to get the pub listed, said: “We know what will happen next – if the garden goes the business will no longer be viable. Then the developers will say the business was not successful and use it as an excuse to turn the whole thing into residential. This is the last traditional pub in Primrose Hill where ordinary people can go.”
The developers spokesman said: “I knew there would be objections to this. I am a businessman, I’m used to objections. It’s very nice for people to fight this, but someone needs to pay the pub’s bills. I want to excavate the basement so the pub has a function room, it will also be left with a smaller garden. But if it’s not viable in the end, then it’s not viable, then it can’t run any more.”