Suddenly shut Homerton pub will go for housing, say upset drinkers

Customers of a 146-year-old pub in Homerton were shocked when they went for a pint but found their local watering hole boarded up.

The Chesham Arms, in Mehetabel Road, Homerton, which was owned by a family trust, closed without warning on October 4.

Martyn Williams, an environmental campaigner from Sutton Place, Homerton, said: “It closed really suddenly. No-one knew it was going to happen.”

“A member of our resident’s network went for a pint and found he couldn’t have one and then emailed everyone else on the street.”

The pub is now boarded up and a poster with the name of a property development company called Ozkan Homes Ltd is on the hoarding.

However, when residents phoned the council, they were told that no planning application had been lodged.

Mr Williams, who has been a regular for 15 years, said: “We don’t know what’s happening to it. It’s a mystery. We’re worried the building will be trashed.

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“There are not many mid-terraced pubs left any more. It’s been a bit shabby lately – no one can deny that – but it’s a very attractive pub that should be done up and not converted into flats.”

He said it was a blow for the local community. ‘‘We’ll be upset to lose a good local amenity”, he added.

“We’ve lost our other local pub – the Duke of Wellington – which has become Pringle.

“It’s all very nice but you can’t get a drink anywhere anymore.”

James Watson, electrical engineer, of Mehetabel Road, said: “The focal point of the street is the pub.

“I used to drink there two or three nights a week. As a resident of the street and a regular drinker I’m very disappointed and sad that the Webster family have chosen to sell a viable and profitable business, much cherished by the local community and people further afield.

“Not only was the pub of great historical value, but it’s in an area of tremendous high potential with the forthcoming designer village, and I feel they’ve missed a golden opportunity.

“While they’ve made money from the sale, the premises is lying empty and this neighbourhood has been deprived of a much-enjoyed community facility.”

The pub was also popular with teachers from City Academy, Homerton Row, and St John and St James’ Church of England Primary School, Isabella Road.

A spokesman for Ozkan Homes was unable to give details on plans for the site.