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I don’t think I’ve ever flagged up a planning application on here in the same way I highlight licensing applications. There are several reasons for this, the main one being that planning is just not one of my things: I know how important it is, but it’s not something that interests me as much as other aspects of local government.
I’m making an exception for The Crown on Lavender Hill. The future of this site has been the topic of local discussion and rumour, the strongest that it would become a St Mungo’s Hostel for alcoholics. It looks like there was some basis in fact for that and a planning application has been made by the Great Eastern Public House to turn the upper floors into a commercial hostel with seven dormitories and a maximum of 60 beds.
This might raise fears for those who suffered problems they associated with a busy hostel above Mish Mash when it was at 45 Lavender Hill.
Great Eastern have a website detailing the work they have done elsewhere. While looking nice, I can’t help but be a little concerned that they happily detailed their intention to start operating before receiving the necessary approvals:
We informed [Tower Hamlets council] of our intention to begin operating as a Hostel, and therefore sell the accommodation by the bed, a week before our application submission date.
They argued this was not a criminal offence, but I can’t help but find it a rather worrying attitude.
You can see the application on the council’s planning portal (use reference 2011/4220).