Here’s what happens if you knock down an historic pub without asking permission…

Kiwi Movers HQ is based in the heart of Wandsworth Common. It’s a beautiful place to work and the team appreciate being in such great surroundings.

So we were surprised and a little sad to see a local landmark recently get knocked down. The Alchemist pub in Battersea had seen better days of course, but with a bit of consideration, it could – and should – have been returned to its former glory. Instead it was knocked down to make space for an apartment development. 

The Alchemist pub – a valuable example of Victorian architecture

the alchemist pub












Gone – the former site of the Alchemist pub near Kiwi Movers headquarters.

Picture Credit - Nigel Howard/London Evening Standard.

Picture Credit – Nigel Howard/London Evening Standard.


After the pub was destroyed, it emerged that property developer Udhyam Amin had torn it down without getting permission. The pub stood in a conservation area and planning permission was required to alter the external appearance of the structure, let alone completely destroy it.

Mr. Amin attempted to get permission via the back door by applying for retrospective planning permission, claiming the building was dangerous.

Fortunately, the powers that be weren’t having it.

Planning chairman Cllr Sarah McDermott said: “The developer was trying to get permission for this unlawful demolition by the back door. This attempt has been roundly rejected.

“The loss of such an interesting and important local landmark was judged to be against the public interest.

“In our view the demolition was a very serious breach of planning rules which can only be put right by the complete rebuilding and reconstruction of this important community asset, using the same materials and to the same architectural design.

“This building was an integral part of the St John’s Hill Grove conservation area and its loss has been keenly felt by local people. That’s why we are determined to take action to ensure it’s restored for future generations.”

Hopefully the next time a property developer thinks about destroying an historic building without getting the required planning permission, this case will discourage them. And on the off-chance you’re reading this Mr. Amin, Kiwi Movers also do builder’s cleans.

So when you’re finished putting that pub back up, give us a shout and we’ll come and tidy up the mess.