Fight goes on for Great Bromley pub after its beer garden is bulldozed

JCBs demolished the Cross Inn's beer garden and patio on Tuesday

JCBs demolished the Cross Inn's beer garden and patio on Tuesday - Credit: Archant

An Essex man fighting to save his local pub from demolition is refusing to give up after developers bulldozed its beer garden.

Save the Bromley Cross secretary Jim Craddock, of Ardleigh Road, Great Bromley, spoke of his “total sadness” at the sight of JCBs bringing down the Cross Inn’s patio and beer garden last week.

But villagers have not lost hope – they regularly hold ‘pop-up pubs’ in a bid to preserve the community given to them by the Cross Inn, which was also home to the post office.

“We’re all really disappointed that the pub has been bought. Just yesterday JCBs were on the land – they demolished everything except the building itself, so the surrounding patios and so on. It was a very sad sight,” said Mr Craddock.

“We tried to bid for the pub ourselves – we didn’t want to lose our sense of community – but we couldn’t afford it.”

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Planning permission to build two detached residential houses at the site was approved by Tendring District Council (TDC) in December.

A council statement read: “TDC has given the all-clear for two new homes to be built on land next to a pub in Great Bromley.

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“Beech Hill Properties submitted the application for the site adjacent to the Cross Inn in Ardleigh Road with a detached garage and single point of access.

“Members of the council’s planning committee discussed the proposal and decided to grant planning permission with 17 conditions.

“It was felt that the site – which is currently a field – is able to accommodate two homes with no material harm to the character of the surrounding area.”

The pub was described by the Campaign for Real Ale, which recently warned 30 pubs across the UK are closing every week, as “an absolute gem”.

“Putting houses on the land would ruin the village as well as the pub,” Mr Craddock added.

The group’s ‘pop-up pubs’ have even had deliveries of beer from the brewer, who are former suppliers for the Cross.

“One of our members held a pop-up event in his shed the other week. We’re really trying to keep the community that the pub gave us alive.”

Residents will hold their next event, a ‘Pop-Up Pub Curry Night,’ at Great Bromley Village Hall on Friday 26 February.

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