Councillor Alan Hall who has been instrumental in saving Lewisham pubs from closure has said that all pubs now need greater protection for them to continue to remain at the heart of our local communities.

The Labour mayoral candidate and Phoenix Community Housing board member ensured that Phoenix bought The Fellowship Inn in Bellingham which will reopen as a thriving pub, theatre, cinema and community centre next summer.

Councillor Hall also played a key role in saving the once-closed Baring Hall Hotel in Grove Park and The Greyhound in Sydenham which is expected to reopen later this year.

The Mayoral hopeful said: “The Fellowship is a name that has meaning -representing the coming together of people and communities. Pubs are Fellowship in action. Lewisham Council has done very well to save these pubs for communities in key locations around the borough but we must now be ambitious to do better. If elected as Mayor I will conduct a root and branch review of planning and other rules to ensure that we get the best possible protection for pubs.

“A Lewisham council report in 2012 that ushered in tougher planning rules said that ‘Pubs hold an undeniably significant and special position in the history, culture and economy of Britain’. We have a duty to see that continues in Lewisham for the ultimate benefit of all residents.”

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