Masons Arms - Planning Application (15/AP/3022)

If you would like to object to this planning application to redevelop the Masons Arms on East St with the loss of the use of the pub and important parts of the historic facade, then we suggest some of the following reasons might be of value.

How To Object.

You can submit comments online at:

Type into the search box: 15/AP/3022

Of the 5 little boxes click on Make a Public Comment

(Southwark will not publish any of the personal details that you provide).

Possible Grounds.

Our suggested grounds include:

-          The Mason’s Arms was identified as a building with potential for local listing in the E&C SPD of 2012 through the Background paper: Urban design December 2011 (4.3.9 Possible locally listed buildings and their settings page 45). It is one of just two buildings along the whole length of the historic East Street that was identified as being worthy of local listing in the SPD.

-          The pub has a significant role in the history of the built environment of East St with the following history. A pub called The Mason’s Arms can be traced back in this location as far as 1807, but its origins may lie further back in the later 18th century. The current building was constructed in 1899. The pub originally housed a large public bar, a number of smaller private bars, domestic quarters and stabling to its rear. The masons of the pub’s name are honoured by carvings of the tools of their trade – a mallet and a compass – on the two pilasters on the building’s frontage. Over the years the interior of the pub has been remodelled. In 1955 the last private bar and saloon bar were knocked together creating a larger space, with a small stage.

-          We are saddened by the proposed changes as they confirm the passing of the Masons Arms (owing to the changes being made to the floor height) as a place of entertainment and leisure in the area at a time when many more people are about to come and live in the nearby area with the imminent of completion of the housing developments on Stead St. We note too the recent loss of the nearby Rose & Crown as a pub.

-          We object to the loss of space that currently exists for employment uses through the loss of the ground floor and basement cellar of the Masons Arms. We do not believe that significant efforts have been put in to actively seeking to bring the ground floor back into use in the recent years since the pub closed for public use.

-          We note the emerging planning policy of the New Southwark Plan and in particular:

·         In the Introduction to the Options Version (page 4) “We pay particular attention to proposed growth in betting, payday loan shops and takeaways and the potential loss of pubs, leisure and cultural uses”. We would contend that the permanent loss of the Masons Arms touches all three of these points.

·         In relation to DM27 Pubs, DM 27.1 “Development affecting a pub must not result in a loss of cellarage or other features in the building which might render the pub use unviable”. DM 27.3 “Where change of use is permitted, development must retain the building where the design, character and heritage value of the building is assessed as making a positive contribution to street scene, local character and/or the historic environment”. We would content that this development fails in relation to both these points.

-          The proposed changes will have a significant detrimental impact on the fabric of the Mason’s Arms with the loss of its magnificent ground floor façade through the loss of a number of windows and their replacement with grey infill – the overall sense of proportions will be irrevocably lost. The original pub doors on the front elevation will be lost. In order to create the light for the basement properties, the magnificent wooden detailing will be lost below the windows. This quality of the frontage in terms of the doors, the panels and windows can be seen at

-          We would ask that special consideration is given to the problem with refuse materials. Residents describe significant problems with the management of waste from such a large development and the current situation is shown in the photograph which can be downloaded at

-          We would ask Southwark to reject this application and a) avoid the loss of potential employment uses in this location, b) not allow the permanent loss of this pub which these changes will bring about, c) not allow the negative impacts that are proposed on one of East St’s most characterful remaining buildings and d) ensure that the emerging planning policy in the form of the New Southwark Plan is not so clearly breached.

Thanks for your help!

Additional information