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Campaigners face delay in battle to save Manor Park’s Earl of Essex from redevelopment

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:17 14 November 2018

Campaigners with East Ham MP Stephen Timms outside the Earl of Essex in February. Picture: Ken Mears

Campaigners with East Ham MP Stephen Timms outside the Earl of Essex in February. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

Campaigners face a delay in discovering the fate of their beloved Manor Park pub, after a planning committee deferred approving the redevelopment application.

Committee members will carry out a site visit to the Grade II listed pub before a decision is made. Picture: Ken MearsCommittee members will carry out a site visit to the Grade II listed pub before a decision is made. Picture: Ken Mears

An application was put forward in January to convert the Grade II listed Earl of Essex in Romford Road into nine flats upstairs and a pub downstairs.

During a planning meeting in April, councillors rejected the proposals on the basis they would “contribute to the erosion of the historic use of the site”.

In September, a new application was put in by the landlord, Yass Investments Ltd, which again proposed building nine flats upstairs and keeping a pub on the ground floor, but also assured the pub would be run by Brewit Microbrewery Ltd.

At a planning meeting yesterday (Monday), committee members voted to defer the decision until they’ve carried out a site visit.

Amanda Reid, head of planning at Newham Council, said: “It has been voted to defer consideration of this item for members of the committee to conduct a site visit to assess the impact of parking, environment and aesthetics of the building. Once that has happened it will be brought back to committee.”

During the meeting, the committee heard from Manor Park councillors Ken Clark and Mariam Dawood, representatives from the SavetheEarlE12 campaign, and Mark Von Der Heide from Schema Studio, the application’s agent. He admitted there had been no consultation with residents on the design of the flats.

Campaigners raised concerns about parking, waste disposal, and the aesthetics of the flats being inkeeping with the architecture.

The campaign, which has been running since January, has received the backing of East Ham MP, Stephen Timms, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Amy Lame, London’s night czar and London Assembly member, Unmesh Desai.

MP StephenTimms joins residents wanting to preserve the Earl of Essex pub from redevelopment into flatsMP StephenTimms joins residents wanting to preserve the Earl of Essex pub from redevelopment into flats

Last week, campaigners wrote a letter to Newham’s mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, while Mr Timms wrote a letter to the council’s chief executive, Katherine Kerswell, asking for permission to develop to be withheld until a proposal is found which “reflects the building’s true potential”.

Laura Blundell, speaking on behalf of the campaign, said: “We’re campaigning for a family pub which could spearhead regeneration in the area. We didn’t want to object to this application, we really want it to be open so we have a place to have a pint and Sunday lunch. But with this proposal we just don’t think we’re going to get a viable pub. We have a real opportunity here to do something wonderful.”

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