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London night czar Amy Lamé backs campaign to save Manor Park pub

PUBLISHED: 16:12 04 April 2018

MP Stephen Timms and campaigners outside the pub in February. Picture: Ken Mears

MP Stephen Timms and campaigners outside the pub in February. Picture: Ken Mears

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A campaign to save a Manor Park pub has gathered the backing of London's night czar, Amy Lamé.

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

Richard Williams, 31, and partner Katie, 33, have been fighting to protect the Earl of Essex in Romford Road since January.

After meeting with the capital’s night czar in March, the couple now has the backing of Sadiq Khan’s team and CAMRA, the campaign for real ale.

Ms Lamé described the campaign as ‘exemplary’, and talked about her role in a campaign to protect a South London pub from developers.

Richard said: “This campaign is all about creatig a space in Manor Park where the local community can spend an evening, rather than travelling out of the area for food and drink.

“The plethora of passionate responses to the latest planning application show how much locals care about this, and it’s fantastic to know that Amy and CAMRA are backing us too. Manor Park has been deprived of a family pub far too long.”

A planning application released in January seeks to extend the upstairs and turn it into flats while keeping a pub downstairs, but Richard and Katie are worried this could change.

The Grade II listed building has stood empty since 2012, so in January the couple set up a Twitter account @SaveTheEarlE12 to campaign for its survival.

The page has more than 300 followers, and there are 57 comments on the building’s planning application from Katie and Richard’s supporters.

The campaign has also attracted the backing of MP Stephen Timms, who told the Recorder earlier in the year that with Crossrail coming to Manor Park station, the Earl of Essex has the chance to once again become a venue at the heart of the community.

When approached in February, Mark von der Heide from Schema Studio, the application’s agent, said the owners were in talks with potential pub operators, and because of the many listed features which can’t be changed, the intention remains to keep it a pub.

The case is set to come before the Newham Development Committee later on this month.

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