Owner speaks out about plans to demolish Romford social club

10:16 22 September 2016

The social club in Cross Road, Romford, could be turned into houses.

The social club in Cross Road, Romford, could be turned into houses.

Ryan Tute

A historic social club may need to close it doors for the final time as it’s “not a community club anymore”.

The Winchester Social Club in Cross Road, Romford, which has hosted comedy gigs and entertainment for decades could possibly be turned into houses.

Owner Tony Port, who has owned the club for the best part of 40 years, says it has “broken his heart” to see the shape the club is now.

Plans sent to Havering Council by Spectrum Town Planning Consultants are to build four three-bedroom houses with associated road access and a single storey rear extension to an existing bungalow.

A total of eight parking spaces are also being proposed for the new houses which would equate to two spots per household.

His son Dave now helps the 79-year-old get around after suffering from bad health in the past few years.

He said: “These plans are not purely for profit or making money, we have owned the club for 40 years so it’s not like we have just bought the place to make a pound note.”

The social club in Cross Road is surrounded by housing meaning noise complaints about people using The Winchester are frequent.

“My dad gets phone calls all the time about noise complaints and he doesn’t need the aggravation at his age,” Dave added.

“Sadly, it’s not a community club anymore, people round here don’t use it.

“We would be delighted if it was still part of the community and used as a social club.”

The family say there is no immediate plans for the club to be shut but are planning ahead should the licence be revoked at a later date.

Dave said: “If the licence is revoked then what do we have? Having these plans just gives our family something to fall back on.

“We don’t want to upset anyone by doing this but it’s going to cost £30-40,000 to renovate this place and who’s going to pay that?”


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