The Crown pub, Romford, could become flats despite heritage status

The Crown in London Road

The Crown in London Road - Credit: Archant

A pub could be turned into flats despite being on Havering Council’s list of buildings of local interest.

Developer Kundra Holdings LLP has submitted plans to turn The Crown in London Road, Romford, into 24 apartments.

The early 19th century pub is described as a “prominent social landmark” on the council’s list of important historic buildings.

It was closed for a year until leaseholder Terry Beyer took over in November but now hosts music at weekends, shows live sports and is also a popular location for groups to meet before heading over the road to Romford Greyhound Stadium.

Terry, who was also the leaseholder of The Joker pub in Seven Kings for five years before it was demolished in January, and runs another pub in East Ham that is due to be sold, said it was a sign of the times.

“There will be no pubs left at this rate,” he said. “We’re doing OK here – we get busy on a Friday and Saturday now.

“But even pubs that are doing OK are getting closed. Pubs are closing left, right and centre and the council is giving permission for more housing.

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“It’ll probably go through, even though it’s on that list.”

Residents have also taken to Streetlife to complain about the proposals.

Traci R said: “Romford is losing all its character buildings. Soon our town will be just flats, takeaways and £1 shops, so sad.”

Another, Georgina H, said the area was becoming a “concrete jungle”.

The development would see an extension on the side of the building demolished and 12 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom flats created.

The application states the developer aims to “improve the tired appearance of the property in order to preserve the future use of the building”.

Referring to the pub’s status as a building of local heritage interest, the application states that it is “not a statutory listed building and has been heavily altered and extended to the side and the rear”.

The Crown is the latest in a line of Havering pubs to be earmarked for housing, after The Pompadours in Edenhall Road, Harold Hill was sold.

Developers had their initial bid to build flats on that site rejected.

The council will make a decision on the application for The Crown by November 6 at the latest.