A vacant east London pub which dates back more than 400 years could be bulldozed to make way for 104 new homes – plus a new boozer. 

The White Horse in Chadwell Heath has been empty since 2017, and was left badly damaged by two fires which ripped through it within the space of a few months. 

The pub, which according to Barking and Dagenham Local History is the oldest alehouse site in Chadwell Heath, was gutted by fires in September 2020, and again in January 2021

Following the second fire, the chair of the local residents’ association said: “The White Horse brought our community together for so many generations. This locally listed building and its beautiful gardens should never have been neglected and left to deteriorate.” 

An application to develop the site has now been filed with Barking and Dagenham Council by Chadwell Oak LLP, which wants to knock down the existing pub and replace it with 104 new homes. 

However, only 22 of the proposed properties will be affordable housing – below the 35 per cent requirement set by the Mayor for developments more than 10 units. 

A new pub is also included in the plans, with an outdoor space that would exist in one of the three blocks. 

Romford Recorder: The White Horse was gutted by two fires, one in September 2020, shown here, and another in January 2021The White Horse was gutted by two fires, one in September 2020, shown here, and another in January 2021 (Image: CHSRA)

Barking and Dagenham case officer Patricia Ploch wrote in a council document: “The proposed development would positively contribute towards housing delivery and borough targets. 

“It is also considered that, on balance, the scheme will provide an appropriate dwelling mix, tenure split, accessible housing, and play space.” 

She added: “Whilst the level of the affordable housing is below the expected 35pc, the applicant has submitted viability assessment which was reviewed by the Be First [the council’s regeneration arm] appointed independent reviewer. 

“It was agreed to the level of the affordable housing is acceptable in this instance given the submitted viability assessment.” 

On the White Horse being bulldozed, Ms Ploch wrote: “The loss of the existing White Horse Public House is regrettable. However, the applicant has submitted an assessment which demonstrated that the refurbishment of the existing building which has been damaged by two fires is not viable. 

“They have also submitted a document which provided commercial advice on the design of the re-provided public house to demonstrate that the units would be attractive to a range of operators.” 

The planning application will be heard at a Barking and Dagenham planning committee on March 20.