Son urges developer to spare 'beautiful' Chadwell Heath garden of remembrance from prying eyes
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:15 15 May 2019
When Jon Bevis's father Stephen died of pancreatic cancer in 1999 the family chose to have his ashes buried in the garden of remembrance at St Chad's church next door to his much-loved local, the White Horse in the High Road.
But little did they know that 20 years later the pub site would be the focus of a bid to build 49 homes in blocks rising up to four storeys on either side of the venue.
Despite his concerns developer Ebury Holdings said the garden had been taken into "account" with the plans.
Jon said: "I don't want a block of flats overlooking the chapel of rest. It's disrespectful. I'm worried they will block the light.
"It's beautiful at the chapel now. You can relax there. It's very private.
"My concern is anyone living in the flats will overlook the garden. I would be devastated if that happened."
Developer Ebury Holdings vowed in February it would reopen the pub. It agreed a 20-year lease with Andrew Sullivan at an annual subsidised rent of £20,000.
You may also want to watch:
It followed a public consultation which saw 85 per cent of 80 people surveyed welcome the watering hole's reopening.
Jon, 44, of Chadwell Heath, welcomed the White Horse staying but argued the new homes should go on the derelict pub's car park side.
"That wouldn't infringe on anyone," he said.
The business owner added that he was glad his dad - who was born in the borough and moved to Chadwell Heath in 1964 - was not alive to see the planned changes to his beloved local.
"I'm glad he's not seeing this. This is such a beautiful area," Jon said.
A spokesman for Ebury Holdings said the proposed development took the garden of remembrance into account with plans to keep the existing trees on the boundary and to plant an evergreen hedgerow for year round cover.
Pub land neighbouring the burial ground would form a private garden for one of the proposed flats.
He added the pub was in a "severe state of disrepair" after suffering vandalism, attempted arson, theft and squatters but the developer wanted to restore it. "But it is unviable to get the building back into pub use without a supporting development," he added.