'A social club for the community': 90-year-old Hornchurch snooker hall to close after 'losing battle' over lease
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A Hornchurch snooker hall is to close its doors after 90 years after the club "lost the battle" to renew its lease.
Knights Snooker and Pool Club on the High Street put a post on social media last week announcing it has “lost the battle against our landlord” and is due to close on July 31.
Evren Omer, who runs the snooker and pool club with his business partner Yil Shevket, has been at its helm for 35 of the 90 years it has been open.
He said the lease had run out, and so, despite consulting with legal representation, there is nothing the club can do to roll back the landlord’s decision.
Evren said: “We don’t want to leave. None of our customers want us to leave, and there’s been an outpouring of sympathy on Facebook among other places.”
Since the club’s closure was confirmed, he and Yil have been looking for a new space, but have been unable to find anywhere big enough to cater for the needs of the club yet.
"It looks like we will have to just give up," Evren said.
The landlord, Parkhall Estates, which is part of Metro Properties, earlier this year submitted an application to turn the hall into flats.
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This was rejected by Havering Council on grounds including the proposed apartments not meeting an acceptable standard of accommodation.
Evren said the decision has been appealed, although this has not been displayed on Havering Council’s planning portal. That application can be viewed using the reference P0099.22.
A farewell has been organised with regulars of the club to be held over the final weekend.
Its loss, says Evren, is more than just that of a place to play snooker.
Rather, it is the loss of a valuable local hub, one which has been a part of the local community for many years.
“We have served the community very well," said Evren, adding: “It’s not just a snooker club. It’s a social club for the community.”
Metro Properties was approached for comment.