The battle of Trafalgar Arms begins as Tooting residents campaign to save pub


The pub hopes to be listed as an Asset of Community Value.


By James Cozens

The day after the 208th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and down the road from where Lord Nelson used to live, concerned Tooting residents officially launched a campaign to save the Trafalgar Arms pub.

After serving the community for nearly 90 years, the pub was closed and sold for £1.3m in July to Wellbeck Developments, who are applying to build a block of flats in its place.

Meeting in the last remaining pub in the area, the Trafalgar Arms Supporters Chairman Chris White told his supporters that a decision to have the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value is expected from Wandsworth Council next Wednesday.

Speaking at the meeting, local councillor James Daley said this campaign would be more difficult than other similar successful campaigns in the borough recently because the pub has already been sold.

“It’s very difficult to stop what has already started here. The best chance we have is to stop them building a monstrosity on the site,” he said.

Mr White has recruited historic buildings and planning consultant, Dale Ingram, who said there are at least 172 pubs currently listed as an ACV and almost all of them were registered after they were closed.

“Having an ACV registration demonstrates clearly that it has value,” she said.

This alone is not enough to save the pub, but it is an important step in the formation of an appeal to planning applications.

Mrs Ingram, who specialises in historical pubs and breweries, said that over the last 18 months appeals are much more likely to favour the community than the developer.

“There has been a distinct sea change,” she said.

If the campaign is successful in its ACV registration they could be allowed to purchase it back from the developers, but a more likely scenario would see other experienced pub operators invited to purchase the site instead.

Also at the meeting was experienced pub campaigner and Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Tooting, Dan Watkins.

He said: “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.”

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.”

An online petition to save the pub can be found at: or for more information visit:

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