Boxing Day blaze could mean the bitter end for Romford pub

The Bitter End in High Street

The Bitter End in High Street - Credit: Archant

Concerns have been raised about a disused pub becoming an eye-sore in the heart of town.

The Bitter End in High Street, Romford, had long been a popular retreat for pub-goers wanting to enjoy a drink.

But the former pub remains unused and Romford Civic Society claims it is “not in a good way”.

Andrew Curtin, of the society, said: “We are very concerned about that building, the fact it seems to be deteriorating.

“It is potentially a beautiful building, but it is not in a good way.

“Even if not as a pub, the main thing is that the building remains.”

Mr Curtin points out to the example of The Woolpack in High Street that has been restored to its former glory.

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He said: “There doesn’t seem to be a plan, but it could be something really nice. Everyone wants to live somewhere that looks interesting.”

The site has deteriorated since a Boxing Day fire at the location ripped through the building and destroyed half of the ground floor.

Crews were called to the disused Bitter End Pub, High Street, at about 5am on Boxing Day.

Firefighters from Romford, Hornchurch, Harold Hill and Dagenham tackled the fire which took more than four hours to get under control.

A Havering Council spokeswoman said applications have been made to takeover the site.

She added: “Havering Council received a planning application last year to restore the Bitter End pub to a hotel, restaurant and shops, but information sufficient for the planning application to be properly considered was not given to the council when requested, so the application was not validated.

“The Bitter End pub is a privately-owned building, but to improve its chance for restoration, the council has forwarded the relevant information to a potential buyer with the consent of the current owner.”

The council is also keen to stress that teams have been put in place to oversee the building and ensure the area is kept safe for the community.