April 21 2014 Latest news:
by Lizzie Dearden
, Senior reporter
Thursday, January 30, 2014
A pub in Seven Kings reopens tomorrow for the first time since a cannabis farm was found – but it could soon be replaced with a 95-bedroom hotel.
The return of The Joker in Cameron Road will be short-lived if demolition starts as planned in January 2015.
Building work was due to start next year on an approved 19-apartment housing block but developers have put in a new application for a six-storey hotel instead.
According to documents filed in December, the hotel’s height would be staggered from six floors at its highest point to four at the lowest.
The front would include brickwork, copper cladding and glass.
The application is still being considered by Redbridge Council but letters from residents opposing the hotel have already been received.
John Cassidy, of Cameron Road, said it was “totally inappropriate” for the area and pointed out bedrooms would overlook a school playground.
The site is next to Seven Kings train station, which will be on the new Crossrail route opening in 2019.
The area was identified as an “opportunity site” in the Crossrail Corridor Action Plan and may receive funding to improve the High Road’s appearance and facilities.
A ground floor retail unit planned for beneath the hotel could be The Joker’s new home.
The pub’s licence was suspended for three months after about 250 cannabis plants were discovered in a police raid in October.
A 58-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cannabis production and has been bailed until late February.
What would you like to see happen to The Joker? Is a hotel a good idea? Vote in the poll or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.