The Canonbury’s new beer garden is too noisy, say neighbours
PUBLISHED: 15:12 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 16:31 14 October 2010
THE biggest beer garden in Islington is proving a thorn in the side of unhappy neighbours after it was partly “paved over” as part of a massive £2million pub refurbishment.
The Canonbury Tavern’s 800 square metre garden is famed for its huge horse chestnut tree, under which George Orwell penned parts of his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
It is also subject to an ancient Islington by-law that bans amorous couples from getting too frisky on its leafy grounds.
The listed pub has stood in Canonbury Place, Canonbury, since the 1700s and reopened last summer after a three-year refurbishment.
But the refit saw stone paving and wooden decking replace parts of the lawn and flowerbeds.
Jack Lambert, planning spokesman for conservation group The Canonbury Society, said: “The amount of hard paving in the new garden is possibly having a damaging effect on the mature trees because the lack of drainage starving them of water.
“Noise is another issue. They just covered it with artificial stone paving and that has an effect on the reflection of noise as well. It’s a long saga.”
The new garden has provoked 16 letters of objection and a 19-strong petition from irate neighbours who say it is “harmful and out of character” with the area.
In April an application for retrospective planning permission heard by Islington Council was deferred so an “arboricultural report” on the environmental impact of the re-landscaping could be carried out.
Now a new council report – due to be heard by a town hall planning committee next month – says the new paving has caused a “negligible change of noise levels” and no damage to trees.
It also states that despite being likely to have “ a negative impact on the biodiversity of the site”, the garden now boasts many new varieties of plants and shrubs.
Gareth Lloyd-Jones, the owner of the pub, now simply called The Canonbury, said: “We’re very pleased that the council have sought to support and recommend the planning application for approval.
“We think we have worked well together over a long period of time to meet a number of concerns raised by residents, and indeed the council themselves, and we are very pleased it has got to this position.
“Obviously the committee have the power to make their own decision, but we hope they will follow their officers’ advice.”