Plans to demolish historic Old Harlow pub submitted to council’s planning committee

News / Wed 1st Nov 2023 at 10:26am

PLANS to demolish a pub in Old Harlow and replace it with four new houses have been submitted to Harlow Council.

The application proposes the demolition of existing White Horse Public House on Old Road and replacement with four detached two-storey houses with gardens and on-site car parking totalling 8 spaces.

The application is referred to the planning committee as there have been more than two letters of support received contrary to the officer recommendation of refusal.

The report states: “The building is also considered to be a non-designated heritage asset and its loss is not considered acceptable.

The submission has not established that the loss of the public house is acceptable pursuant to policy L2 of the Local Plan, which seeks to protect community facilities unless they are demonstrated to be surplus to requirements. It is also considered that the development would be detrimental to the appearance and character of the street scene, including by loss of trees, detrimental to neighbours’ amenities, and would fail to provide parking to the required standard.

“The application is therefore recommended for refusal”.

Summary of Representations Received

Ten representations (eight individuals) received. Nine representations in support of the
application. These are summarised below:
 Support proposal; need more houses in Harlow; benefit to local community;
 (No.168) Support proposal but will overlook garden, trees should remain to protect
privacy due to proximity.

Officer comment: A number of comments refer to previous use of the site for criminal/ anti-
social purposes. It should be noted for criminal/ anti-social behaviour is a management/
police issue which is not relevant to the consideration of planning merits of the proposed

One representation (No.162 Old Road) raises no objection in principle but pub wall forms
boundary to rear garden – what happens when this is demolished and garden is left
exposed; would appropriate measures be put in place to address concerns about security
and safety during works and long term.

Officer comment: This is addressed in the assessment below.

The full report can be seen below.

It is on the agenda for the next planning committee meeting on Wednesday November 8th at 7.30pm.


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29 Comments for Plans to demolish historic Old Harlow pub submitted to council’s planning committee:

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-01 10:55:00

Shocking... it would not sit well with the old character of other building... Why, why are you spoiling everything. Why. Now your starting to spoil our true villages. Why.

Tanya Bellamy
2023-11-01 11:24:08

Lots of the support for this is due to the mismanagement of the pub. Under the right people it could be a nice little venue. What is also funny, is that a lot of the supporters kicked off about the Green Man down the road, changing its sign due to the historic nature of the previous one. So many hypocrites in Old Harlow

2023-11-01 11:38:16

Loved the white horse and a shame whats happened. Would rather it be restored to a pub again.

2023-11-01 12:48:15

The pub run properly and orderly would be an asset. Take away the old regime and place organised people to run it. A bit like the planning department. Strange place to live now. Just saying

2023-11-01 13:18:15

Yes would make a great little community pub again but the planning committee and the builders will win as usual. Please let me be wrong.

2023-11-01 13:19:29

Yes would make a great little community pub again but the planning committee and the builders will win as usual.

Nick Gunning
2023-11-01 13:31:20

absolutely not. So much of historic Harlow has been destroyed. Are these houses going to address the housing crisis or simply provide more luxury to an infinitesimal minority? Harlow now contains a great many unaffordable houses and is turning into a dead dormitory like so many other providing housing originally for working people with ordinary income. ¼million+ for a shoddily built 2 bedroom terraced house is gross. Replacing a potentially decent pub or restaurant with 4 dwellings is a step backwards

2023-11-01 14:42:35

The pub trade has been on the decline now for a number of years iv been retired now ten years prior to my retirement I was a court enforcement bailiff and was closing public houses on a regular basis quite a few of these pubs have never re opened . Plus closing these pubs saves police resources having to deal with the anti social behaviour the only public houses that are going to be successful are the ones doing a good food trade others will continue to be on the decline.

Tracy George
2023-11-01 15:52:00

Why not leave the pub as it is and turn into a couple houses? Surely then the pub still stands but it no longer stands empty and unused. Be a shame to completely remove it from the landscape.

2023-11-01 15:59:15

Pubs should be recognised as essential community hubs and given tax breaks that will allow for the prices to be reduced. Whilst a pint of beer costs £5 in a pub and £1 in a supermarket, the decline will continue. It's a real shame.

Keef Burtons
2023-11-01 19:13:14

Goddamnit I got excited there for a second, was hoping it was gonna be The Chequers or the Marquis of Granby

Scott Brannon
2023-11-01 20:14:11

Was a fabulous pub when it was run by Ron and Frances. Spent many happy evenings in there as a young man. When they retired it went into decline

Lee C
2023-11-01 20:41:09

Lived very close to the pub for 18 years Ron and Frances and the locals made it a fantastic pub and a great place to socialise. Should be turned into a community pub you can get funding and support if the locals can make it happen. It was only closed due to dodgy previous ownership..no value in turning this into executive housing. Planning should not happen

Tanya Witham
2023-11-02 03:01:30

Leave our pubs alone ,we have enough houses being built in Harlow ,too many for my liking ,using up all our Greenbelt .Our pubs are a part of our culture and tradition .Without them we have no community.

Bruce Downey
2023-11-02 05:55:41

Another White Horse Pub goes down the Swanee, so joins the White Horse at potter st..graveyard of drinking dens..R.I.P 🪦🪦

2023-11-02 08:29:37

Closed down due to drug ring county lines being run from there. It's nice now to go past in the evening without drug deals being done in the car park.

Rosalie crook
2023-11-02 10:10:14

I think the people that want to keep this pub have never been in there if you lived next door to this pub you would be pleased that it is going to be pulled down fingers crossed We need more houses on old Harlow

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-02 10:10:40

This pub goes back to the 1800, and maybe earlier. This could be turned into something useful, no need to destroy every bit of history we have in Harlow, with concrete monstrosity s. This building is irreplaceable.. like many This council have ripped down.. This is not just the pub,this is grounds it sits in as well, trees and wildlife destroyed again.... Get a bloody grip Harlow council, and stop putting profit before needs.. Turn it into something useful.. no need for all this destruction.

Stuart Crook
2023-11-02 10:12:25

Am I favour to have this pulled down has been a drug house for years bring on some nice houses

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-02 10:22:37

So Stuart your in favour of pulling down our historical buildings. This does not need to be pulled down , it could be made useful to help people. You don't know who's going to move in new housing, it could be same problem again... if its turned into something useful, it could be a place to help people.

Tanya Bellamy
2023-11-02 11:50:15

Kim, I agree with you. Historical buildings need to be retained and refurbished where possible. Just because it was previously mismanaged, is not a reason to demolish it. It has been recommended for refusal for a number of reasons but principally due to its historical nature and it is perceived as a community facility. The developer (based in London) has been given the opportunity to demonstrate that it is “surplus to requirements” but this hasn’t been forthcoming. There is also no consideration for the neighbouring properties. The developer simply hasn’t given this project due consideration and for that reason alone planning should not be granted. Not because “it was horrible when it was a pub and I would rather walk past some nice houses”. Tunnel vision springs to mind

2023-11-02 16:49:35

As long as the houses will actually be affordable, and intended for the people that need them (and not luxury wastes of space out of the reach of any of the towns actual residents), then crack on!

Nogin the nog
2023-11-02 16:55:47

If the pub doesn't make eny money no point in keeping it open a pub is a business at the end of the day most of the pubs still open are more like restaurants these days

Stuart Crook
2023-11-03 07:13:14

A lot of these comments are from people that do not live near this pub it has had plastic windows put in wooden toilets in the car park inside pulled to pieces no need to keep this pub nobody visits this pub when it was open only ones to use it was to collect there drugs we need houses this plan looks great with four 3 bedroom houses will support this like all the local people will not one object from the local people

Ian Lawley
2023-11-03 08:54:35

I live within 200 yards of the site. The White Horse was not viable as a pub business and hadn't been for many years. It is simply too small and in the same catchment area as both The Green Man and The Harlow Mill. Nor is the building particularly attractive. This particular plan may not be the right one but housing is the way to go.

Kathy Bones
2023-11-03 11:06:08

I think if this could be refurbed and under the right management it could be a real asset as a community pub. The area needs to try to retain the feel and character of 'Old' Harlow with as many old and historical buildings as possible, not just bulldoze it to the ground and build yet more houses like every other area.

Simon Brown
2023-11-03 13:39:03

Pubs often serve as the heart of our community, providing a space for people to come together, socialize, and connect with their neighbours. Preserving a pub is crucial for nurturing and maintaining a strong sense of community spirit, which is vital for a vibrant and tightly knit neighbourhood. One of the primary reasons we chose to live here was the presence of a pub at the end of the road. While it may not have been the perfect pub for everyone, under the right ownership or with a collaborative effort from interested parties, it has the potential to rekindle the community spirit I mentioned earlier. We were deeply disappointed when it closed, as we were unaware of the previous owners' circumstances. For those who express discontent, it's essential to remember that when they chose to reside in this area, they did so with the understanding that a pub was nearby. The existence of a pub is an integral part of our neighbourhood’s history and identity, and it should be respected and maintained. Furthermore, pubs like this one hold significant cultural and historical importance, preserving our quality of life and providing employment opportunities within the community. As for the suggestion of building more houses, it's worth questioning whether this is genuinely necessary, considering the surplus of housing developments in the vicinity at exorbitant prices. Many of these new houses lack character and appear to have been constructed in a standardized manner, lacking the unique charm and history that a pub brings to our community. In conclusion, safeguarding our local pub is about maintaining community spirit, respecting the choices of our residents, preserving our cultural and historical heritage, enhancing our quality of life, and providing an alternative to the proliferation of generic housing. Let's embrace the future while cherishing our community's unique character and history. More Houses!!!! Right who is up for owning a pub, I am in

Tanya Bellamy
2023-11-03 15:51:07

Such a good point about people choosing to live by a pub but then moaning that they live near a pub! It was there long before we were! Plus you’re right Simon, there has been huge housing developments recently. And to address another point, these will NOT be “affordable” homes. Of course it would be amazing if it could be resurrected as a pub, but I understand the comments that this may well not be considered financially viable. My concern is demolishing a building of heritage, even if there has been some modern intervention. I am with the committee officer on this one

Elliot brodie
2023-11-17 11:25:10

We have lived opposite the white horse pub for over twenty years most of that time we have had nothing but problems from the pub.even after it was closed due to being used for drugs it is still being used as a place for the drug dealers to met and do their drug deals.i am sure if the people who want to keep this pub had this going on opposite their house they would not be pushing to keep the pub going.the same goes for the council planners .I and many of my neighbours would be very happy to see a small housing development to replace the white horse pub.

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