Council criticised for ‘sitting on its hands’ over fate of the Porcupine

Local Conservatives have criticised Greenwich council’s “ridiculous” decision not to raise any objection to controversial plans by supermarket chain LiDL to demolish Mottingham’s Porcupine pub.

Cllr John Hills, Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst and local campaigner Matt Hartley have been supporting Mottingham Residents Association and Save the Porcupine campaigners in their bid to stop the plans.  Although the pub lies over the local authority border on the Bromley side of the village, the issue affects hundreds of residents in the Royal Borough of Greenwich side.

Last week it emerged in council papers that Greenwich council intends to ‘Raise No Objection’ to LiDL’s new planning application, which is currently under consideration by Bromley council’s planning department.  This is despite widespread local opposition to the plans, including from local councillors on both sides of the village and Bromley and Chislehurst MP Bob Neill. 

Cllr John Hills, Chairman of Coldharbour, Mottingham and New Eltham Conservatives and President of the Greenwich Conservative Federation, said: “This is an issue that we have been working on for a long time – and it is deeply frustrating that Greenwich council intends to sit on its hands over the fate of the Porcupine.  Mottingham deserves better than this.” 

Fellow Mottingham councillor Mandy Brinkhurst called the council’s stance “ridiculous”.  She said: “Residents have been fighting hard against LiDL’s plan and they deserve to have the support they need. We will yet again lodge our objections to the new application and will continue to do all we can to help the Save the Porcupine campaign.”

Council candidate Matt Hartley added: “LiDL’s plan is a real concern to hundreds of residents in the Greenwich side of Mottingham who want the Porcupine to remain the heart of the village, as it has been for more than 500 years.  It’s outrageous that Greenwich council seems to be ignoring their views – yet another example of its neglect of the south of the borough.”

In August, campaigners secured Asset of Community Value status for the pub from the government, reflecting its unique importance to Mottingham.  It is worth noting that Greenwich Council has already turned down two applications for Asset of Community Value Status for the nearby Dutch House which was threatened with closure at the same time as the Porcupine.

For more updates on the Porcupine follow Coldharbour, Mottingham and New Eltham Conservatives on Twitter @CHNEwardTeam or visit the team's ward website