The Phene Arms, a local Chelsea Pub is the latest U.K pub under threat by developers who want to turn it into yet another multi- million pound home in the heart of Chelsea. Celebrity residents including Hugh Grant, Sol Campbell and Mark Knopfler are joining local residents to oppose the development in an attempt to preserve the traditional English pub in the heart of the community.
At design et al for the most part we applaud and celebrate regeneration. We even have an award for regeneration www.thedesignawards.co.uk These projects however are celebrated within buildings that needed a new life and purpose for the twenty first century; they have been abandoned, discarded and left to deteriorate unlike the Phene Arms, which appears to be doing a roaring trade as a gastro pub for its affluent locals.
Is this regeneration gone too far? Should we protect our heritage for the good of future generations and for society today? Who will win this battle is to be decided today by a planning inspector at a hearing. With property developers and local residents alike looking at what appears to be a test case, this could open the flood gates to re developing pubs or it could call a halt to this current trend.
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