Newham Council rejects plans to turn Grade II listed Manor Park pub into flats

MP StephenTimms with campaigners outside the pub in February. Picture: Ken Mears

MP StephenTimms with campaigners outside the pub in February. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Newham Council rejected plans to turn a Grade II listed Manor Park pub into flats on Monday.

Councillor Mas Patel, Katie Bilboa & Richard Williams, Amy Lamé, CAMRA’s Kim Scott, team Earl's Ife

Councillor Mas Patel, Katie Bilboa & Richard Williams, Amy Lamé, CAMRAs Kim Scott, team Earl's Ife Okwudili & Jenny Duval, Newhams deputy mayor Ken Clark and and Ed Bayes, City Hall's culture at risk officer. Picture: Earl of Essex campaign - Credit: Archant

Campaigners have been fighting to save the Earl of Essex in Romford Road since the start of the year, following proposals which would have seen the upstairs converted into nine flats and the ground floor kept as a pub.

At a planning meeting at the town hall, councillors rejected the plans on the basis they would ‘contribute to the erosion of the historic use of the site’.

Jenny Duval, a campaigner for the SavetheEarlE12 group, spoke at the meeting. She said: “We started when we noticed pigeons were flying out of the once beautiful building. We decided to come together as a community to do something about it.

“Our cause is simple – we want to see the Earl of Essex back up and running as a public house. Places like the Forest Tavern in Forest Gate show there’s a local demand for great family pubs, and we are encouraged that the London borough of Newham recognises Sadiq Khan’s emerging London plan. “It’s our view that the current planning application focuses too much on an out of proportion, unsightly development.

“It will deprive our community of a family pub, as The Earl of Essex is an asset of community value. This will impact on our community for years to come.”

The campaign, which has almost 400 Twitter followers, also received the backing of MP Stephen Timms, London’s night czar, Amy Lamé and CAMRA, the campaign for real ale.

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Proposed layouts of the ground floor led officers to question the viability of the space as a pub, and they said losing the pub would damage the building’s contribution to the community and damage its value as a heritage site.

Officers also said there weren’t enough assurances that the Grade II listed features would be preserved, and the extension of the upper floors would result in other homes in the street being overlooked.

Susan Masters, an election candidate for the East Ham South ward, said: “I am really pleased that we’ve got a situation where we have a pub which is being recognised as a community asset. Pubs are places where the community comes together.

“Back in 2013 we as a council passed a motion in favour of preventing the closure of pubs and allowing the council to be involved so I’m really pleased in this instance. It’s a real landmark in areas like this.”

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