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Flats to be built in closed Barking pub

PUBLISHED: 13:55 27 May 2015 | UPDATED: 17:51 27 May 2015

The Bull, Barking

The Bull, Barking

Archant

A boarded-up Barking pub is to be turned into flats – but its future as a watering hole remains uncertain.

Believed to date back to the 14th century, The Bull in North Street has stood empty since last orders were called in 2010.

Now applicant Sentindale has been granted permission to convert the upstairs of the listed building into four one-bedroom and three two-bedroom flats, with the demolition of existing toilets and the stable block in the rear yard to make way for the erection of two two-bedroom houses.

However, the downstairs has been retained for commercial usage and will be unaffected by the development, prompting the hope that the building could once again become a meeting point for the community.

“It’s the sincere hope that a commercial tenant will be found to take it over,” planning agent Richard Washington-Young told the Post after the planning meeting, where the proposal was approved last Tuesday.

“They want to make it attractive for a public tenant, to maintain its external appearance but also to modernise it internally,” he said.

Former pub patron and Goodmayes resident Paul Scott spoke out against the development in the meeting, but was reassured that the ground floor of the building could potentially revert to its original usage as a public house.

“My fear was that the ground floor in the public house was to be used for non-public house purposes, but they’ve said it’s only going to be the upper floor,” he explained to the Post.

“A lot of other people agreed that they should preserve what public houses and social leisure facilities they have.

“I’m very relieved. Over the years The Bull has fallen into disrepair, and these works will make it better over all.

He added: “It was a good and friendly pub, it had the usual local crowds. It would be awful for the area to lose it.”

In a move to safeguard the future of pubs in the area, Barking and Dagenham Council approved a supplementary planning order (SPO) last year, that allows the council to resist the loss, change of use, redevelopment or demolition of a pub.

To find out more about the application, search 13/01096/FUL here


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