A South London café has won its battle with the council after over 3,000 locals signed a petition to save a pergola.

The outdoor structure had looked set to come down after council officers branded it “alien” and “bulky” in a report earlier this year.

But officers have now u-turned on that recommendation after a backlash that included the Greenwich Council leader Dan Thorpe and the local MP.

Announcing the news on Facebook, the Westmount Cafe said: “We’ve had some great news about our pergola – Royal Borough of Greenwich council have approved our planning application!

“We are extremely happy and very grateful for all your support and help, as well as the invaluable support from local councillor Spencer Drury and our MP Clive Efford.

"This would not be a success without all of you, and it means a lot to us.”

Owner Liz Polat told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that she was “extremely happy” with the ruling.

Ward councillor Drury, who has been heavily involved with the campaign, said: “Westmount Cafe’s position as a focus for our community was apparent from the massive support for our petition against the Council’s decision.

"I am so pleased that our pressure resulted in the reversal of the decision to remove the pergola and the Liz will continue to thrive in the future. 

"Thank you to everyone who signed the petition.”

Just short of 3,200 people signed the petition to save the wooden pergola being torn down.

It was erected to provide outdoor seating and the option of an al fresco style dining experience for residents, and was allowed under temporary Covid rules.

Council officers initially believed it should not be allowed to be made permanent, before the u-turn.

In a new recommendation earlier this week, they said: “The development respects the character and appearance of the area without having any unacceptable impact on the living conditions of neighbouring properties.”

But in January, their report on the café had said: “The proposed pergola would be an incongruous and bulky addition to the front of the site, introducing an alien feature to the streetscene to the detriment of the visual amenity of the area.”

In response, MP for Eltham Clive Efford called the initial decision “box ticking of the worst kind” and said he doubted there had been any complaints about the structure.

Cllr Thorpe paid tribute to the “fantastic local business” and said he would be raising the issue with officers.

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