An Israeli development firm that demolished a historic London-area pub without authorization was ordered this week to rebuild the building in its entirety.
The company, Tel Aviv-based CLTX Ltd, razed the landmark early last month during the Easter holiday in order to expedite the construction of a series of apartments in the London borough of Westminster, according to a report this week by the Daily Mail.
The developers, however, did so just as the municipality was due to designate the Carlton Tavern Maida Vale a historic structure, protecting it from demolition.
Following the destruction of the landmark, the borough’s city council sent CLTX Ltd a letter demanding that the 94-year-old building be rebuilt “as it stood immediately prior to its demolition,” since the council had refused planning consent to build housing in place of the pub three months earlier.
Residents of the west London borough were furious at the unlawful demolition. The iconic tavern was built in 1921 and was one of the few buildings in the area not damaged during the Nazi blitz in World War II.
Robert Davis, the council’s deputy leader, said he had been “absolutely horrified” after learning of the building’s demolition, calling the matter “scandalous.”
British television actor Danny John-Jules took to Twitter to lament the flattening of the Carlton Tavern: “The pub looked like it would serve for another 100 years. That pub was so old-school, you would find most of the older community in there.”
“It’s another nail in the coffin of what we would call in the olden days as socializing. It’s great to be on Twitter but it’s just not the same as real socializing,” he added.
Other admirers of the establishment also used social media to slam the actions of the developers, with a number of Twitter users referencing Israeli ownership of firm.
Perhaps the historic Carlton Tavern, currently rearranged as a large pile of bricks, will be classified by Israel as 'disputed territory'.
— two flames (@msjenniferjames) April 29, 2015
Many are accusing the developers of deceit, as landlady Patsy Lord was told by the building’s owners that the pub was going to be closed on Easter Monday for “inventory” two days before the tavern was bulldozed.
CLTX is appealing the original decision to refuse planning permission. The owners are barred from selling the site until it is reconstructed entirely.
It is believed that this is the first time a council has demanded the rebuilding of a structure in its original form.