Fresh bid to demolish historic pub

By Becky HallewellDEVELOPERS are pressing ahead with a plan to demolish a centuries-old pub in the heart of Constable Country.The timber-framed Anchor Inn on Dedham Heath once attracted rave reviews as a restaurant and jazz venue.

By Becky Hallewell

DEVELOPERS are pressing ahead with a plan to demolish a centuries-old former pub in the heart of Constable Country.

The timber-framed Anchor Inn on Dedham Heath once attracted rave reviews as a restaurant and jazz venue.

It was sold to developers RVL Properties Ltd, which applied unsuccessfully for planning permission to pull the building down and put up three townhouses on the site.


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Residents and councillors launched to campaign to get the pub's historic significance officially recognised and in December the Department of Culture, Media and Sport granted it grade II listing.

Now a second application has been lodged with Colchester Borough Council to tear down the inn.

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Valerie Guglielmi, chairman of Dedham Parish Council, was disappointed with the move, but was adamant the pub's listing would guarantee its future.

“They've not got a hope in hell since it's been listed. A listed building should stay and they should be forced to do it up. I can't see they have any footing at all. They've got to come up with some good reasons to pull it down,” she said.

“As far as the parish council are concerned, it will be turned down no question. It will go nowhere with the parish council whatsoever.”

But George Traer Clark, agent for the developer, said he was convinced the Anchor Inn was never worthy of listing.

He added: “How it got listed I don't know. It's not particularly attractive and it's not in a conservation area. It's not a viable pub as it's too far out of the village. The other pub in the same street was closed.”

Although the planning application has been changed only slightly, he said the building's demolition was now a matter of time and the developers would appeal if necessary.

“The listed status is only going to have a delaying effect. We've revised the application after discussions with the conservation officer. If it's refused, we will go to appeal,” he warned.

Colchester Borough Council will make a decision on the application within the next few weeks.

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