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Developers have last laugh as Seven Kings’ pub The Joker faces demolition

16:08 18 December 2012

Pub owner Terry Beyer (second from left) with some pub regulars outside The Joker

Pub owner Terry Beyer (second from left) with some pub regulars outside The Joker

Archant

Residents have hit out against plans that will see a popular pub demolished and turned into a five-storey apartment block.

The Joker, in Cameron Road, Seven Kings, will be knocked down to make way for a high-rise building with 19 apartments and two retail units at the bottom, after Redbridge Council gave the green light for the project on Thursday.

The proposals had been rejected three times before by the council’s regulatory committee.

Pub customer Niamh Mooney, 38, of Seven Kings, said: “I think it’s disgraceful. This pub has been here for a long time and is part of the community. Putting up flats will ruin this community.”

Bobby Watson, 69, of Norfolk Road, Seven Kings, has been a regular at The Joker for 33 years.

He said: “I don’t want it to be knocked down. I will miss it. The alternative is going to Ilford because there is nowhere else to drink, but that’s not possible because I am crippled.”

Joker leaseholder Terry Beyer, 58, acquired the pub in 2009, two years after it closed under former owners brewers Greene King.

He told the Recorder the earliest he could leave is 2014, according to his lease with site owners DSJ Homes, which is behind the development.

He said he is “disappointed” but hopes to take advantage of the retail units that will be below the flats, adding: “I have been in discussion with the company about the retail unit being a bar. I’m hoping that we can come back after leaving.”

Businesses around the area welcome the new accommodation, seeing it as a chance to draw in more customers.

Dipa Sudra, 45, manager of TBodyT Salon, Cameron Road, said: “It’s perfect for business. The way I look at it is it will bring in more people that are wanting to have treatments from us.”

A spokesman for DSJ Homes said the apartments would benefit the community and “bring life to the area”.

Nine of the 19 flats will be two-bedroom, with eight one-bedroom, one three-bedroom and one studio.

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