Community Collaboration: The Return of The Duke of St Albans

24th January 2024

Duke of St Albans

Last week saw good news for Fruition Properties as Camden Council gave the green light to an exciting venture at our building in Highgate.

Last week saw good news for Fruition Properties as Camden Council gave the green light to an exciting venture at our building on the corner of Highgate Road and Swain’s Lane. The approval centred around a decision to change the license for the property, paving the way for the establishment to trade as a pub once again.

The background to the decision was pre-empted by the closure of a struggling wine bar on the site in April 2023. Operating only a few nights a week, the business faced challenges that ultimately led to its permanent closure. Recognising an opportunity to revitalise the space and cater to the community’s needs, locally based Swain’s Lane Retail Forum led by local resident Dan Outram, approached Fruition Properties.

This outreach was led by consultations with members of the local Swain’s Lane Community Facebook group, tapping into the pulse of the community’s preferences. With the property’s prime location opposite Hampstead Heath, there was consensus that a ‘muddy boots’ family-friendly pub would be the perfect fit. Interestingly, the site had housed a pub named the Duke of St Albans from 1859 until 2008, adding historical resonance.

Dan understood our desire to see a successful business on the site but acting as conduit to the local community he was also able to share the community’s aspirations directly with us. As a result, when we went through the marketing process with the agent to find a new tenant, we instantly recognised experienced London pub chain, Grace Land Group as precisely the type of establishment envisioned by the locals. The next step involved applying for the necessary variation in the license, a process managed by the team at Fruition Properties.

What set this venture apart was the collaborative approach adopted from the outset. We worked closely with the local community, something not enough property developers do, ensuring that their input was not only valued but integral to the project’s success. This proactive engagement resulted in broad support for the license variation application, culminating in the council’s approval. The icing on the cake was the council’s decision to allow the new pub to trade under its original name, paying homage to the Duke of St Albans. The sentiment was echoed by Dan, who expressed his gratitude to Fruition Properties for their support:

“This is a great outcome for Swain’s Lane. Thanks to the landlord, Fruition Properties, for being so supportive of our community’s preferences. We can’t wait to see the return of the Duke of St Albans!”

Mani Khiroya, CEO of Fruition Properties, shared his thoughts on the successful collaboration, stating: “This is a great example of how working together with Dan and the local community has delivered the right outcome for both the local area and our building.”

He added “The harmony between community aspirations and property development exemplified here serves as a testament to the positive impact that collaborative efforts can have on the revitalisation of urban spaces and sets Fruition Properties apart”.

The return of the Duke of St Albans, marks not only the revival of a historic pub but also a celebration of community spirit and successful partnership between developers and locals.