A HISTORIC pub is being demolished ahead of a £60million town centre revamp with new flats and community space planned.
Castle Point Council is knocking down the Crown Pub, in High Street, Hadleigh, and is replacing it with 60 homes and an outdoor space – which could be used as a market or for outdoor events.
The site had been home to a pub since 1769, before closing in 2009, making it on of town’s most historic buildings, after Hadleigh Castle and St James the Less Church.
Norman Smith, Tory leader of Castle Point Council said: “The plan is still the same and we will build homes on that area and part of it will be community space.
“It will be about 60 new homes and I am pleased to see it going through as it’s been a bit of a saga, but now we can get it done.”
More than 100 residents commented on social media about the demolition, with some raising concerns about the development.
Maureen King said: “I am very sad to see it go, I had many a quiet drink in there at lunchtimes in the Nineties. From a business point of view it probably became too quiet though and I remember a time when there were more staff than customers some lunchtimes.
“I think the writing was on the wall even then.”
Bob Moore added: “It was an inn and tavern for nearly 250 years but more generic flats are what all these historic buildings become these days.
“Sadly pubs don’t get used these days, even without the Covid-19 pandemic, so they are worth more to developers than communities.
“I am worried the town can’t cope with more homes.
The council has been planning to revamp Hadleigh town centre for almost a decade, with the plan originally being formulated before the 2012 London Olympics.
Mr Smith previously said he’s determined to regenerate this part of the town and there are a few possible scenarios being considered.
Plans were submitted to convert the building into a KFC restaurant but these were refused by the council in July 2009. In March 2012, the Echo reported plans were considered to convert the building into a boutique cinema as part of plans for the town centre regeneration.