You could ask the same question regarding Penge, which has a Travelodge - although described as being in Crystal Palace!
It has become a strategic location, when once it was simply on a branch line. Land values, yields etc
With the redevelopment going on in Croydon & its proximity to Canary Wharf, it is potentially a savvy investment. Plus there are tighter controls in place on AirB&B
This post is really sad and needs a some correction to make it more accurate. And Cllr Liam’s account does not describe events.
This is what happened.
The publican owner, Trevor in fact passed away when still running his pub and whilst working in his cellar.
He was the publican in The Rutland Arms and prior to that in The Prince of Wales on Perry Rise.
He was ably assisted by his wife Chris who was an elegant lady and whose Sunday lunches were delightful.
I live a few hundred yards equidistant from both pubs and in the time I knew them, they ran perfectly orderly houses selling good beer. Trevor was a real musician and his pride and joy was his grand piano at The Rutland. Only selected musicians from the many jazz bands who appeared there were permitted to play it and there will be many of you who enjoyed the twice weekly jazz sessions.
In the period after his passing, Chris attempted to continue running the pub without Trevor whilst at the same time trying to find a buyer for the pub and her home above in which they had lived.
Over quite some time, there was no success in finding a publican purchaser for the going concern and Chris was advised to sell the property at auction. It was rumoured that the hammer fell on a price substantially less than the valuation.
Once more after some time, a developer submitted plans for the conversion of the site and included the promised floor-space for a pub.
The work was completed and the floor-space created.
The flats were sold off but still there was no publican to be found for the pub and after several years a thriving business from a few doors down expanded its business, relocated and took over the floor space.
Economics drove the decision. Not the retirement of the publican as described by Cllr Liam.
Equally interesting, is the matter of the pub across the road, The Perry Hill, formerly the Two Brewers.
Two successful pub entrepreneurs invested substantial sums in refurbishing that establishment, setting up as a very well appointed bar and restaurant. There is a substantial garden, car parking and the Atrium in which the restaurant was set is one of the most elegant examples of its kind.
It failed within months and had a brewer’s tenant installed with the restaurant aspirations abandoned.
Economics also drove that outcome. Even though there was no competition in the immediate locality, customers did not return in the numbers for the offer to succeed.
It would have taken no time to consult with Cllr Alan Hall and former Cllr Ami Ibbitson about these matters and would have provided confirmation of what I describe here.
Looks like the type of thing that happened to the Forest Hill Hotel. The space below was left as a small bar but nobody ever took it over. Think it is finally being converted into flats/
I have gone to the pub about three times in the last year due to various events and would in principle support the idea of retaining the pub but my principles will not make it a commercial success. It would be interesting to see if those people petitioning to keep the pub actually spend any money there. There will be many people who just see it as a way to stop development but that will just put off the inevitable. It is better that we accept a reasonable development that keeps a pub than retain a pub that will just be a bus stop name in the future like The Woodman, first estate agent then cafe.
I too live in the area and interestingly enough, I can confirm that MOST of what you have written is factually correct - except for some very important details that have led you to draw the wrong conclusions. I will absolutely refute your conclusions tomorrow because I have just spotted this and it is getting late and I have to be exact and careful in what I write. Just for now though I will share this - I can give a few examples of pubs that were written off in south east London but, because the right people took them over, they have gone on to become successes. I will just add one more thing - land values, land values, land values.
I have no doubt that the right sort of hotel in Forest Hill could make money. But a block of flats on this site will make much more. And that’s what will be built there eventually if the pub is demolished. But I am determined not to be proved right and, like many others, will continue to fight for this pub, which is successful now, so there’s no reason why it should not continue to be.
for context, not specific to the All Inn One case, a timely article today about the reasons why we are gradually losing pubs, at quite a rate.
beer duty … rose by 42% between 2008 and 2013, a period in which beer sales fell by 24% and 5,000 pubs closed
From the figures in the article, I read it as indicative that alcohol duty on beer is to blame for the decline, but it doesn’t provide any costed examples. Looking at the figures for a pint of 5% beer, duty is only 54p per pint, which is less than I expected.
I don’t think you quite understand the internet… This isn’t a councillor’s drop in session…
Anyway - I undertand that developers of flats often have a “ghost” retail premise on the ground floor to get the planning application through, which they disgracefully have absolutely no intention of renting out, but I genuinely can’t see the same being the case with a hotel. Most hotels do have a pub on the ground floor (albeit usually run directly by the hotel), and guests often expect this. The ground floor pub would definitely add to the appeal of the hote, in the way a pub or retail premise beneath a block of new build flats wouldn’t.
@HOPcrossbun Thank you for your post. The thing is this is the internet and a forum that is for the people connected to SE23. We welcome all here as long as they are decent to each other.
We particularly invite our councillors to post as they have influence over this area and in coming on this forum they are given a voice and also a platform to hear your concerns.
I am sure you had no issue with Maja when she did a fantastic job as a councillor and no-one (that I am aware of) told her that SE23.Life was not a drop in session. So can we please extend the same courtesy to @CllrLiamCurran and all other Councillors.
Pubs are closing because drinking habits change. More people drink at home these days even though pubs are much nicer without the smoke. And there are other opportunities to drink alcohol in Cafes and bars. I don’t have a “local” anymore. If we’re talking about where I’ve eaten and had a drink most frequently of late it’s been Donde. And I agree a hotel is likely to have a bar.
First of all hat’s-off to everyone who’s doing their bit because they believe in the cause.
I knew this pub from 45 years ago when I used to pop in there with my friend’s parents, who lived in Hindley’s Place, and many years later when the Forest Hill Traders Association used to have the odd meet. Apart from that, I only know what people have posted on here, which portrays it as a nice, friendly local pub.
Although I’d sympathise with the next-door neighbour, who would undoubtedly feel the additional bulk of the proposed much-larger building, the retention of a smaller pub/bar within this hotel (not hostel!) development seems fine to me - so I’d support it.
I don’t see any reason why it would be difficult to find an operator, nor to doubt the commercial viability of the pub/bar (providing the rent isn’t hiked-up too much). On the contrary. A big empty bar is never gonna be appealing but this place would have the benefit of being able to rely on the fact that at many times of the day and evening there will be the odd (!!!) guest of this 66 room hotel - or even guests of the guest - who’ll be popping in for a swift arf or a glass of the finest Blue Nun or Lambrusco on their way out or on their return from a trip up town. Add a few local punters into the mix and… Where do I sign-up? (for the Blue Nun that is!)
A lot of ‘woulda’ ‘shoulda’ ‘coulda’ on here but largely speculation. Destroying a purpose-built, busy, successful public house, which is a fine, handsome, landmark building that has all the facilities that make a pub successful - makes no sense.
The developer may make more money from this as a “hotel” (but more likely it will end up being a housing development). The original application had no proper pub facilities. They keep getting changed when people point it out, which would drop a hint that this is no serious application for a pub i.e an application that leaves out a pub and only includes it when people point out “Hang on! There’s no pub in this application.”
Meanwhile, I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say: “Fancy popping down to the Travelodge for a great night out” or “Let’s go to the Travelodge this Sunday afternoon, we can take the kids and sit in the beer garden. Oh wait, we can’t because there isn’t one, because they built this Travelodge all over it”!
If the building is no longer being used and there’s no interested parties other than developers then I say knock it down and build a block of luxury apartments to attract more money to the area.
South East London CAMRA have set up a petition backing the campaign to save the pub. It can be found here: > https://bit.ly/2SeAoPs
As local residents we would be very sad to see it go. It’s a lovely pub and we’ve had many happy times there. We also think it’s crucial to have businesses that serve the community on this side of the tracks. Pubs do thrive in Forest Hill. The Hob changed ownership and became The Signal and appears to be very successful.
Let’s turn everything in Forest Hill into a hotel. That way we’ll bring even more money into the area!! Never mind the fact that it will end up becoming one of those lifeless, soulless transient ‘through-road’ towns that nobody would dream of stopping in anyway.
Do you have an example of a London suburb that has been ruined by having two (or more) hotels?
Do you have an example of a London borough that has been dramatically transformed as a result of having one (or more) hotels built on much loved and treasured pubs?
You talk about speculation but isn’t it speculation on your part that this will in fact turn out to be flats?