Community anger over hotel and pub plans in Barking
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Neighbours have opposed plans to build a three-storey hotel with a pub and restaurant in a Barking street.
The applicant, Robin Hood in London Ltd, is seeking approval to demolish the existing building at 62 Cecil Avenue, a vacant site at the junction with Rosslyn Road, to make way for a 27-room “affordable, boutique hotel”.
According to the application, the plans seek to return the site - about a third of a mile from Barking station - to “its original use as a public house with short stay rooms above”.
A pub called Albert Edward initially occupied the site from 1904 until it closed in 1937 and, since then, it has been used as storage, an off-licence and a house of multiple occupation (HMO), the proposal states.
But members of what one resident described as a "tight knit and quiet community” are strongly opposed to the proposed development on their doorstep.
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In consultation responses, they feel it will exacerbate parking issues, increase traffic and noise, create disturbance for elderly people and young families in the area and potentially attract antisocial behaviour.
Many of them believe a venue of that type would be out of place in a residential area, while others question whether it is necessary when there are already a number of hotels, pubs and cafes in the nearby town centre.
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Matt Carey, who grew up in Cecil Avenue and moved to the next street in Sherwood Gardens about 15 years ago, has started a petition opposing the development.
He told the Post he was "shocked" to receive a letter outlining the plans last week and "there's a lot of anger" from people along his road, most of whom have lived there for a decade or more.
"Of all the people I spoke to, not one of them is for it," Mr Carey said.
"There's an old lady who's 92 and has lived there all her life and she said if it goes ahead she's going to move out."
Mr Carey estimated about 50 households had signed the petition so far.
"It’s a residential area, there’s absolutely no place for it – there must be other options to put it somewhere else," he said.
“It’s just going to destroy this community.”
More than 20 objections to the plans, which are at public consultation stage, have been submitted to the council since last week.
The applicant was contacted for comment.