A community cafe and flats may replace a pub that allegedly created a "threatening environment" for residents.

The Royal Oak pub in Havering-atte-Bower shut in 2019, but has since attracted people from outside the village who would abuse a resident, urinate outside and take drugs, the Havering-atte-Bower Conservation Society (HABCOS) claimed.

Since the pub's closure, it has been subject to vandalism and other inappropriate use, according to a heritage impact assessment on behalf of the applicant.

Andrew Pigney, who represents Infinity Property London, sent the planning application and consulted with the society, whose claims are contained in a planning statement submitted as part of the application.

If the plans are approved, the former Royal Oak - sold in 2021 - will be converted into a cafe or deli and two residential flats.

In a letter to the applicant following the consultation, HABCOS said: "As a pub it had no community benefit for the village at all and we are anxious that it could return to the threatening environment of before."

The group strongly advised against reopening the Royal Oak as a pub and claimed clientele from outside the village that frequented the pub before would return and take it over.

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But HABCOS said it was happy with plans for a community cafe and shop, which it said was lacking in the village.

Havering Council confirmed it had received the application on June 15 and said consultations would soon be carried out.

A design access statement showed the plans included the conversion and extension of the pub's rear into two flats with gardens.

The site will be within a conservation area and the green belt, the statement said.

Concerns about building in the area's green belt were addressed in the planning statement by Stephen Hayhurst, town planner and agent of Mr Pigney.

"The heritage consultant's conclusion that the development would enhance the building's setting and the character and appearance of the conversation area are fully justified," he said.

The shop accompanying the cafe would be a delicatessen, rather than a general goods store, according to the design and access statement.

A decision on the application is expected to be taken by August 10.

Planning documents can be accessed on the council’s website using reference P0731.23.

*This article was updated at 2.35pm on July 10 to clarify that HABCOS's comments related to the pub after its 2019 closure.