Fernandez 'kosher' pub plans criticised

By Robyn Rosen, September 21, 2010

Hendon residents are campaigning against plans to demolish a kosher pub and turn it into a block of flats.

Developer Platinum Riverside has applied to Barnet Council to demolish Fernandez in The Boroughs and erect a five-storey building, with two basement levels, comprising 14 apartments, parking and a retail unit.

They have separately applied for conservation area consent.

The pub and restaurant, previously called Don Fernandez, took over the former White Bear pub site about five years ago.

Nearby resident, Daniel Jonas, who performs with Sephardi musicians, Los Desterrados, said: "The proposed demolition and the construction of the new building would destroy the character and appearance of this historic area.

"It is out of keeping with the neighbouring buildings. It is massive and unattractive and would create enormous disruption to the local area and would further exacerbate the level of traffic and congestion."

Another Jewish resident, who did not want to be named, said: "The planning applications make a mockery of the idea of a conservation area.

"This stretch of Hendon includes a collection of Georgian houses, lovely cottages, and even an ice house, all of which are a stone's throw from the White Bear.

"These buildings should be preserved and protected, as should the White Bear. The council recognises that it has been the site of an inn, a court, and a hub for the local community for centuries, so on those grounds the planning applications should be quashed."

The application is currently under consultation and a decision is due in November.

The pub's owner was unavailable to comment.

Last updated: 12:57pm, September 21 2010