Vanburgh Tavern house
The planned house would have fronted Vanbrugh Hill

Plans to build a house behind one of Greenwich’s best-loved pubs have been rejected by a planning inspector, a year after Greenwich Council threw out the plan.

Wakaf Ltd had wanted to erect a three-bedroom house on land next to the beer garden of The Vanbrugh, the latest in a long line of attempts to build on the land on Vanbrugh Hill that date back to the 1970s.

Greenwich planning officers had recommended approval of the plans, but councillors on the Greenwich area planning committee rejected the scheme in July 2018, branding it an “incongruous development” that would provide a poor living environment because of the adjacent beer garden.

Now a planning inspector has also turned down the scheme, on the grounds that the house would have too small a garden.

“An area of around 25 square metres of outdoor space would be provided at the rear of the site, at lower ground floor level,” the inspector wrote. This would be “significantly below” the 50 square metres recommended by Greenwich Council’s local plan, the ruling said. “Additionally, that outdoor space would be narrow and quite awkwardly shaped, making it difficult, in my view, to properly meet the needs of a family with children.”

However, the inspector did not see a threat to the future of the pub, writing: “Potential future residents would be aware of the relationship between the house and the beer garden and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I am satisfied that it would be an acceptable one, not uncommon in urban areas.”

When the matter came before Greenwich Council last year, there were 279 public objections to the scheme, while local MP Matt Pennycook also voiced his opposition to the plans.

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