Bid to transform Old Spotted Dog in Forest Gate gets thumbs up from town hall
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 20 May 2020
A bid to restore the oldest non-religious building in Newham has been given the green light.
Councillors approved plans to renovate the 15th century Grade II-listed Old Spotted Dog pub in Upton Lane, Forest Gate and build a 68 bedroom hotel next door at an online town hall meeting on May 18.
Developer Highpride Properties also wants to demolish 20th century additions to the venue and provide a bar, restaurant, lounge, meeting room and garden.
Architect Ian Hopwood said the owner, Salim Patel, had experience of restoring heritage buildings and wanted to see the area improve.
Highpride’s conversion of the Old Log Cabin into the Westbridge Hotel in Stratford showed the application would not have an impact on traffic, Mr Hopwood added. It would also generate 30 to 40 jobs.
The pub, believed to have been a hunting lodge visited by Henry VIII, closed in 2004 and has been vacant ever since. It is on Historic England’s building at risk register. An attempt to raise the money to bring it back into use ended after Mr Patel bought the site.
Loraine Leeson, from the Old Spotted Dog Trust, said the pub had been a “great place” and that its demise was “tragic”, describing it as being “a derelict eyesore for a decade”.
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Ms Leeson welcomed the plans, saying the reopened pub would be an asset to the community.
However, Skelton Road resident, Mustak Vaid, said he supported the pub restoration, but objected to a “towering” four storey hotel being built in a residential area. He added 300 people had signed a petition against it.
Mr Vaid also criticised a public consultation, claiming the developer had only asked people who were already in favour, alleging immediate neighbours had not been consulted.
But Mr Hopwood said the hotel was the only financially viable option for the site and that no one had objected when Mr Patel contacted the wider community.
Further objections centred on the lack of public transport links to an area 15 to 20 minutes away from the nearest stations with concerns raised about taxis and minicabs bringing guests in.
But a council study deemed the estimated 30 daily vehicle trips as low level.
The involvement of bodies such as Historic England would see the restoration would be properly safeguarded,
Councillors expressed concern about the impact of traffic on neighbouring streets and agreed Newham’s highways department should look into it before they went on to approve the plans.
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