Petition launched to save one of last Tooting High Street pubs


Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting, Dan Watkins, is supporting the campaign.


By Felicity Capon and James Cozens

Signatures are pouring in after campaigners launched a petition to save one of the last remaining Tooting High Street pubs.

Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting, Dan Watkins, is supporting the campaign and will attend the official launch to be held on October 22 at The Manor – the last remaining pub in the area – where plans will be set out to save the pub.

In July, The Trafalgar Arms was sold to Wellbeck Developments for £1.3m, before closing after serving the community for over 90 years.

The campaign has filed an application to have the pub listed as a Community Asset with Wandsworth Council, which could allow the campaigners to bid for the pub and make the decision making process much more transparent.

Chris White, Chairman of the Trafalgar Arms Supporters, said: “I’ve lived around the corner for 15 years and it has always been a friendly and convivial place without any trouble. It attracted a mix of locals and people working at nearby St. George’s Hospital, and was also ‘gay friendly’.”

Mr Watkins has experience with saving pubs after managing to successfully list the Wheatsheaf Pub as a Community Asset.

“I think it’s important to protect that site and have it as some sort of community amenity,” he said.

The council confirmed that no development plans have been announced as yet, however, the campaign is concerned by rumours of plans to turn the site into a block of flats.

“We don’t want to create lots of blocks of flats where there used to be pubs, cafes and other community facilities. Ultimately you could end up with a rather soulless and lifeless community,” said Mr Watkins.

Mr White added: “There are plenty of new flats being built nearby, but the area is sadly lacking in places where people can mix and socialise.”

One supporter, Martin van der Ree, said: “The Trafalgar Arms has been my favourite pub in South London since I moved to Tooting several years ago. Every time I walk past it now with that sad sign in front of it makes me practically weep.”

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