The fate of Mortlake’s popular Charlie Butler pub hangs in the balance after a decision on whether developers be allowed to knock it down was deferred.

Richmond Council chose to delay the decision so it could go back to developers and ask them to justify the loss of a local pub.

The planning application said there was no evidence to suggest the pub, recently embroiled in a licensing row, had been operating to a viable standard.

The original decision over the pub’s future was due to be made on Thursday, January 19, but now it is uncertain when an official ruling will be made.

The application for change of use of the pub in Mortlake High Street was made on behalf of developer Languard Homes 2020 LLP.

It states: “We wish to make a detailed planning application for the change of use from ‘Public House’ to ‘Residential’ and the construction of a four-storey residential building plus lower ground floor car park.... The proposals are for the construction of nine residential apartment units together with underground parking for nine cars and 12 cycles.”

It goes on to state: “The evidence demonstrates that the premises have not operated as a viable public house for at least the preceding five years... a headcount of nearby pubs demonstrates that there is more than sufficient capacity with equivalent offer for the change of use of the Charlie Butler without injurious loss to the community.”

However following a slew of public objections and the handing in of a petition to Richmond council, signed by more than 2000 local residents, against the pub’s demolition the potential developers have been asked to readdress the issue of the impact losing a pub would have on the area.

Numerous objections on Richmond Council’s website raised concerns a local amenity could be lost.

One comment, posted by Simon Arnold of Mortlake High Street, read: “It would be a great shame to demolish a local pub. I am a regular patron and I've made wonderful relationships with the landlords and other regular patrons.

“It would spoil the community to lose a place to gather and enjoy others company.”