A campaign group has hit out at plans to turn a 190-year-old derelict pub into a family home.

The Albion, in Lauriston Road, shut its doors to punters around a decade ago, and has been closed ever since.

New owners bought the dilapidated pub recently, and submitted a planning application to Hackney Council to convert it into a three-bedroom family home.

But the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) claims pub operators in the area are still interested in taking over the premises and that turning it into a home would harm a heritage asset.

In planning documents submitted to the council, the applicant claims the pub has “limited appeal” to operators, due to its location, lack of footfall, size and physical condition.

But James Watson, of CAMRA’s east London branch, says this is not true, and that he has spoken to operators in the area who would like to run the pub.

He claims the pub has sat empty for a decade only because of “legal issues” after the death of its freeholder.

Mr Watson said: “The legal issues have now been taken care of and they’ve banged it on the market for the highest bidder.

“This is the mechanism by which pubs are closing all over the country.”

According to CAMRA, the pub was not marketed in accordance with Hackney’s policy requirements.

The group claims that the Albion was not advertised at a price that reflects its lawful planning use, and was instead presented as a development opportunity.

As the freehold value of the pub is lower than what it was marketed for, operators were priced out, CAMRA adds.

James said: “Developers typically try to outbid any reasonable offer from a publican. Pub operators don’t even get a look in.

“The cost of running a pub is going higher and higher, but rents are coming down much slower. The gap is widening.”

CAMRA also warns turning the pub into a home would result in the loss of a heritage asset, pointing to the fact the building is locally listed.

The group is now set to submit a formal objection to Hackney Council opposing the plans.

AZ Urban Studio Limited, the development consultancy acting as the agent for the application, did not respond to a request for comment.

More details about the application can be found on Hackney Council’s planning portal under reference 2024/0699.

Representations about the proposals can be made until May 23.