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Squatters evicted from Grade II listed pub in Manor Park after trying to sell off interior online

PUBLISHED: 15:00 05 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:00 05 September 2018

Squatters inside the grade II listed Earl of Essex pub were caught selling off the interior online. Picture: Ken Mears

Squatters inside the grade II listed Earl of Essex pub were caught selling off the interior online. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Squatters in a closed-down pub have been evicted after attempting to sell off parts of the building’s interior online.

Grafitti started to spring up on the edge of the building over the summer. Picture: Ken MearsGrafitti started to spring up on the edge of the building over the summer. Picture: Ken Mears

The Earl of Essex in Manor Park has stood empty since it closed in 2012. Owners bought the Grade II listed site in 2016, but their plans to turn it into flats upstairs and a pub downstairs were rejected in April.

A month ago, campaigners who fought to save the pub spotted graffiti on the side of the building, and alleged they’d seen activity inside the derelict pub.

At the end of August, one eagle-eyed campaigner spotted a radiator advert on shopping website Gumtree, which he believed to be from the Earl. The advert has since been removed, but he argued it matched a radiator pictured in a photographic survey in the pub’s planning application.

Last week, planning enforcement officers from Newham Council visited the site with the police. They confirmed the fixtures which had been on sale online were from the pub, but were still there and hadn’t been sold.

The campaign to protect the building garnered the attention of East Ham MP, Stephen Timms. Picture: Ken MearsThe campaign to protect the building garnered the attention of East Ham MP, Stephen Timms. Picture: Ken Mears

The police warned squatters against selling off the interior, as it would be considered as sale of stolen property, and officers also noticed the remaining online listings had been removed.

Last week, the owners of the property were given a possession order for the pub, allowing them to evict the squatters within 14 days.

The squatters were removed yesterday (Tuesday).

The campaign to save the pub from being turned into flats gathered the attention of East Ham MP Stephen Timms, London night czar Amy Lamé and CAMRA, the campaign for real ale.

Katie Bilboa, from the Save the Earl of Essex campaign, said: “The fact that squatters have moved into the Earl and started to try and sell the interior is a very sad reminder of how this beautiful building has been neglected and left to rot.

“If locals hadn’t spotted it and stepped in I dread to think how much could have been sold off.”

A spokeswoman from Newham Council said: “The squatters have now been removed from the Earl of Essex, and the owners have instructed builders to secure the property. We have written to the owners to remind them that if any works to secure the property affect the fabric of the building they will need to be reversed.”


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