This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 08/05/2018.
The local community unites to save the Glamorgan pub
Addiscombe residents have just received a boost for their Save the Glamorgan Pub Campaign, which aims to prevent the demolition of the pub, and halt the redevelopment of the site.
Croydon Council has now approved the application for Asset of Community Value (ACV) status for the site, which is located on the junction of Cross and Cherry Orchard Roads.
The Glamorgan closed in November 2016 after prolonged uncertainty regarding redevelopments all along Cherry Orchard Road. Cherry Orchard Gardens Housing Estate was vacated in 2010, then demolished; Amy Johnson House and the Bank of America office blocks also suffered the same fate. New residents have only recently moved into the Morello Redrow luxury apartments, but work has not yet started at Cherry Orchard Gardens.
A pub has been on this corner of Cherry Orchard Road for over 180 years
The Glamorgan was still in business when the new owners withdrew the lease from the venue’s last operator. A pub has existed on the site for over 180 years. It was previously called the Grouse and Claret and before that, the Horse and Groom.
In March 2017, I attended an ‘open meeting’ at Croydon Town Hall, organised by the Save the Glamorgan Pub campaign group. Thirty-five people attended.
Amar Mehli, one of the owners of the site, along with Arsalan Developers, and architect Steve Buckmaster, outlined the new proposals for the site. Three blocks of luxury apartments are proposed: a three-storey, a five-storey, and an eight-storey. Diagrams shown indicate a space for a new pub on the ground floor of one of the apartment blocks. The presentation suggests a very modern venue – more like a bar – compared to the existing pub, which is very traditional in style.
No residential accommodation for a pub manager was included in the plans
Most people present agreed the development would be massive, compared to the current two-storey site!
Questions were asked about the future venue providing music, as the Glamorgan had before it closed. The owner said they hadn’t considered this. In addition, the proposal lacked a rental agreement, for a set ‘period of time’, for a new operator – and no residential accommodation for a pub manager was included in the plans.
We felt that these issues were important for an operator to invest in a business, and make it a success!
Most of us therefore felt that the A4 unit proposal (for a pub) seemed ‘designed to fail’. It is likely that new residents of luxury apartments would object to ‘noise’ from a pub operating next door. The venue would quickly close and the space converted into a coffee bar.
In the meantime, supporters are concerned that effective measures have not been taken by the owners to avoid vandalism or squatting. Existing nearby tenants report ‘rubbish and rats’ at the site.
The group hope to negotiate a realistic price for the Glamorgan site, which reflects the current state of the property. It is now dilapidated. We assumed that the £2.5 million (or more!) price suggested at the meeting was because the owners expect planning permission to be granted.
Campaigners want to acquire the site and manage the pub as a community asset
Campaigners hope that the Glamorgan pub doesn’t end up like many Croydon pubs in recent years, which have been redeveloped.
Hence, we want to acquire the site to refurbish it and manage the venue as a viable community asset, like to the Hope pub in Carshalton. The Hope was bought in 2010 by a community group, 48 West Limited, and is a thriving CAMRA pub, popular with locals.