Save The Old White Bear


We bear good news from Camden Town Hall

But we also still need your help and support!
Save The Old White Bear

Application for
Residential Conversion

Planning Permission
Refused by Camden Council

Camden Council have refused permission to convert the Old White Bear to a six-bedroom house! The details of the refusal have yet to be published online but we understand that it was based on the Old White Bear's irreplaceable importance to the local community - clearly demonstrated by the wealth of comments and letters from everyone explaining how the pub's loss would have such an enormous impact on their lives.

We would sincerely like to THANK YOU ALL for signing our online petition (2,100 people!), our paper petition (1,730 people!) and sending in over 200 letters of objection. As far as we are aware, not one letter of support was submitted.

We'd also like to thank ...

• Our local Councillor Chris Knight who has tirelessly liaised with Camden and accompanied us throughout our campaign. Councillors Linda Chung and Simon Marcus have also been invaluable with ongoing support and advice.

• Camden for spending the time to investigate the facts involved in this application.

• And last but by no means least, the amazing staff at The Old White Bear for EVERYTHING!

Proposed Change of Use
To a Restaurant

REFUSED ... but only temporarily
which is why we need your help!

In late December, the Developer applied for a “Certificate of Lawfulness” on yet another proposed change of use - this time from a pub to a restaurant. 

Under UK legislation the owners of the pub are permitted to convert it into a restaurant without seeking permission. This is known as "permitted development" and is not open to public consultation. Gaining a Certificate of Lawfulness essentially rubber-stamps the change of use.

Were this certificate to be granted it is not beyond the bounds of imagination that a further application for residential conversion might be submitted in due course.    

We are delighted to inform you, however, that Camden have taken the bold and decisive decision to issue an immediate “Article 4 Direction” that withdraws these permitted development rights. This means that any conversion to a restaurant will now have to be subject to a planning application (to which we can all object).

As matters currently stand, however, the Article 4 Direction is a temporary measure. Whilst Camden can make it permanent we need everybody’s immediate help in order to do so. 

Please email your support for the Article 4 Direction by March 10th

Below is a link that should open up a new email with the initial information already filled in. 

When writing your email, please add any additional reasons why you feel The Old White Bear is important to the local community. We realise that many of you have written this already when submitting objections to the original planning application but this is a new public consultation so the reasons need to be stated again.

Please also remember to add your name and address or postcode to your email. This is essential!!

Or, if the link above does not work for you, please use the information below:
Subject:          Support for Article 4 Direction in respect of The Old White Bear, London NW1 1LJ
Please accept this email as confirmation of my support for the Article 4 Direction being made permanent in respect of withdrawing permitted development rights at The Old White Bear in Hampstead, London NW3 1LJ.

Any future proposal to change its use should be subject to a full planning application and consultation with the public - especially as the pub has now been successfully listed with the Council as an Asset of Community Value.
What next for The Old White Bear?

As you will all know, the pub closed its doors on February 2nd after a raucous send-off from both the staff and local residents. Our sincere hope would be for the new owners to permit the pub to continue to operate as it always has done. We are even prepared to buy it from them and run it as before.

Whatever happens next, everyone can now see how determined we are to keep our beloved Bear and we promise to keep you updated with any further significant news.