Harlow Council reject plan to demolish White Horse pub and replace with houses

News / Fri 10th Nov 2023 at 10:35am

By Ican Naci

THE Council’s planning committee rejected the application proposing the demolition of the White Horse pub in Old Harlow.

The application forwarded the idea of replacing the site with a four detached two-storey houses with gardens and on-site car parking totalling eight spaces.

Nestled in Old Harlow, the White Horse pub had served as a community hubfor locals over the years.

Stuart Crook, a resident in Old Harlow spoke for the demolition of the pub,. Mr Crook said: ““I lived there for 24 years, and I never knew anything about the history, and I don’t think many other people even did.”

Locals living opposite the White Horse pub expressed their concern over the ‘lack of fencing’ surrounding the proposed car park.

Resident Lewis Johnson, suggested security to be re-evaluated. Mr Johnson said: “We do not have any objection over the proposal

“However, the demolition of the pub will open up one side of our garden, it doesn’t offer us any security”

The Council’s planning committee, then debated the proposal with Councillor John Steer, a committee member spoke FOR the demolition, comparing the removal of ‘The Hummingbird pub’ as a similar situation, “This building has existed without any heritage designation whatsoever, so I suggest slap it on now.” 

A planning officer replied: “We can only look at this site in terms of the policy requirements”

He added that the building is ‘a heritage asset’ and they have conducted those tests investigating the buildings features. 

Councillor Nicky Purse raised the point of “Four houses may be one too many” and whilst the planning proposal suggested the idea of a four detached two-storey house, other suggestions or uses for the site are not ‘transparent’ and there isn’t enough clarity on what else the site could be used for. “On this occasion, with the information we have, I suggest we reject this application”.

Councillor Michael Garnett said, ‘there are too many problems’ and to ‘take a step back and to discuss these problems with the planning department’. 

The Committee then voted in favour of refusing permission and suggested ‘going back to the drawing board and to highlight the issues with the planning department’ due to the ‘poor quality design and layout’ 

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28 Comments for Harlow Council reject plan to demolish White Horse pub and replace with houses:

Kim Oconnor
2023-11-10 10:55:16

You can not put the hummingbird pub on par with the white horse.. The humming bird was not of an age of the white horse.But the humming bird was unique in the fact that there was only 6 build ,and the hummer in Harlow was the last to go ,,by this architect..which is a great same, and was a great loss to our community... theses planners can never ever get away with knocking down our history ever again... we must keep it for future generations.. And has stood the time, which a lot of theses knew building will not... I'm so pleased that you all have seen commonsense..

Gary Scott
2023-11-10 11:36:31

Well said Kim, the same happened to the chequers,common side Rd, never should of happened, our way of life is being eroded for pockets of cash, with no thought for us , the people

2023-11-10 11:52:23

The pub was put up for sale as a pub over a year ago and massively over-priced, presumably with the intention to prove that it's not viable as a pub so that they could knock it down and build houses. The price it was up for would have been reasonable for a pub in good condition with good, regular (legitimate) trade. Had it been priced taking into account the remedial work that is needed both physically and reputationally, there would have been a good chance that someone may have taken it on and turned it in to the community asset that it should always have been. The White Horse sits in the middle of a very nice, active and supportive community who I'm sure would support a community pub if given the chance.

Mike Neale
2023-11-10 12:11:29

Surely pubs very rarely if ever reopen these days and there's a watering hole opposite. Ifwe can build on school sites then why not a pub ?

2023-11-10 14:03:08

Good, but what’s next for the pub…if they arnt to demolish it ..a mystery fire? Hopefully not.

2023-11-10 15:15:07

@Rob a mystery fire, that would never happen in Harlow... (Northbrooks house, Kingsmoor house, the old council yard in the town park)

Nick Gunning
2023-11-10 15:23:08

at last, something saved! So much of Harlow's past has been erased by modernist doctrine or speculator cupidity. Far too late for the likes of Mark Hall or any other ancient buildings, but next to churches, pubs are the great survivors.

2023-11-10 18:52:54

Honestly couldn’t care less whether it’s knocked down, I just don’t want more houses built in Harlow. Gotta keep those prices up! Supply and demand innit

2023-11-10 21:17:16

It is good that the pub closed because drugs were being sold, it was a bad example for our children. It would be better to build a house because there is a green pub at the end of Old Harlow, there is no need to have two pubs.

2023-11-11 00:55:50

I agree with Rob ,another strange fire.

Nogin the nog
2023-11-11 10:22:05

It might be better as a cafe selling coffee and food thay seem more popular then pubs these days I think since lock down people life styles have changed

2023-11-12 17:45:00

I agree with Joe

Penny B
2023-11-14 19:20:50

A coffee shop could be a good idea. The pub was hugely over priced as one of these comments says, I wonder why? And as for “I’ve lived here 24 years and never knew anything about the pubs history” - oh ok then, that’s a valid reason, let’s demolish it I’ve no doubt a housing scheme will get approved at some point, there will be a loophole. But for once, the planning committee has made the right decision. I’m fed up of outside developers coming to our small town to make a quick buck

Stuart Crook
2023-11-15 16:44:45

I live opposite this pub it was only used for drugs nobody local used it for drinking It is an eyesore for me and the local people that live next to it not one of use us voted against the houses we all want them as for the Heritage there has been a extension built on the rear toilets built out of wood in the car park and a wooden porch on the front The windows have been taken out and plastic one put in Inside the open fire had been replaced with a gas fire the bar replaced So much for the Heritage all us local people voted for it to be pulled down if any of you had to live opposite the eyesore you would feel the same as the locals we need more homes for people in old Harlow I only hope they get planning next time

Penny B
2023-11-15 20:09:41

Oh hi Stuart, you’re the one who spoke at the committee. I’m local, you do not speak for me, or the person who objected by the sounds of it. “Locals” did not use it due to mismanagement, not due to the building. For someone who didnt use the pub, you seem to know an awful lot about the modifications and it’s interior? But don’t panic, they will get round it somehow so you will have your way eventually

Paul Mancha
2023-11-16 12:20:00

I do agree with some of SC's comments re the White Horse pub. However, although the pub has been put back on the market as of today, I cannot see it ever being used as a pub again and will remain an eyesore. It is also somewhat suspicious that the Guardian newspaper knew the day before the meeting that the planning would not be approved!

2023-11-16 12:42:48

I have lived in one of the bungalows facing the pub car park for over 9 years. The pub became a place for drug dealing, loud music, cars and bikes coming and going and was a real concern. I know the pub has some historical relevance however I understand that the internal structure changed. This is a very quiet area of Old Harlow and I think the Council could benefit from buying this land and building a small row of bungalows for the older or less mobile people, this would match the other bungalows adjacent to it. It would not intrude on the current lovely light and view. There are 2 pubs within walking distance here. Perhaps the history could be retained in the name of the new properties.

Stuart Crook
2023-11-16 16:43:23

Hi Penny b it was my local I used it a lot until I saw all the drug use going on I also worked in the pub on the electric so I know a lot

Stuart Crook
2023-11-17 11:07:44

The local that live around the pub bring old Road hart road Wheatfields are the locals that wrote to the council to have this pub pulled down and houses built that is the local not the ones that live miles away and have never been in the pub

2023-11-17 12:10:29

Having lived opposite the white horse pub for over twenty years most of that time the pub has been nothing but trouble.even after it was closed because it was used for drug dealing.the drug dealers still use it to continue to use it for their drug deals. I am very sure if the people who want to keep the pub had this going on outside their house they would think twice.the same goes for the town planners who don't seem to care as long as it's not opposite their Houses myself and many neighbours in this area would be very pleased to see a small housing development to replace the white horse pub which has had an ugly wc built on the front the building which has lost any of it originally character .

2023-11-17 16:40:13

I live next to the pub. I tried to buy the pub but the asking price at the time was too high £600,000 and if you wanted to change the use you had to pay VAT on top of that. We as a community wanted to run it as a community pub but just priced out of it and there was no support for us and certainly none from the Council. So where are we now - a Pub which is crumbling down - and people who do not live next to the pub objecting to it being redeveloped. So what about the impact to our homes and their value - does that matter? Well it does matter and we are directly impacted. I read comments about a fire - you do realise that there are nursing homes right next door to the pub and these comments alarm me? With hundreds of pubs closing down each week - do you really think it is viable? Well its not viable. So Harlow Council - please have some common sense and if you are prepared to allow the site to be redeveloped then put your hand in your pockets and find a solution that would support us!

Stuart Crook
2023-11-17 17:52:01

Well said G M lot of these comments are from people that do not live next door to like Probably the other side of town

Local resident
2023-11-17 22:44:22

It is so wrong that most of the councillors who voted against the planning approval do not live in or around old Harlow .l think it is about time that there should be an AGE limit for being on the council say 60 or 65.

Local residents
2023-11-18 07:37:01

What Heritage have a look at the photo on this item it had scaffolding and corrugated iron built on the side so you could watch tv outside where was the Heritage people then or the council

Dave g
2023-11-19 13:42:20

Only 3 people are allowed to talk at this meeting for only 3 mins the councillors are allowed to talk for as long as they like backwards and forwards amongst themselves the public are not allowed to ask these councillors a question or make any comments on what they say .this is completely one sided I thought we lived in a free country but it seems the council can do and say what ever they like I also like the comment above these councillors are to old to do this job we need young people on this council to look forward not back

Local resident
2023-11-24 21:14:18

Can I suggest that the local residents formulate an official appeal against the planning decision and get together and sign a petition on the grounds of being hoodwinked by the bias council planning committee who had decided prior to the meeting .

Resident as well
2023-11-25 10:45:28

What a great idea I would sign it no problem can the person that wrote this please put it around the local properties

2023-11-25 18:52:06

Stuart crook would be the best person to monitor and collect all the signatures from the locals as he knows them all .Also he is aware of the councillors in our area I would be pleased to sign his petition

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