News Walthamstow

Owner of empty pub fighting council for right to build flats

The owner has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate over the council’s latest refusal
By Victoria Munro

The empty building in Brunner Road, Walthamstow
The empty building in Brunner Road, Walthamstow

The owners of a long-abandoned Walthamstow pub are in a drawn-out battle with Waltham Forest Council after it rejected plans to build flats on the site.

The pub at 80 Brunner Road near St James Street was best known to locals as the Artful or Central Station, although it was renamed the East shortly before an arson attack forced it to shut its doors in 2007.

The first pub on the site, replaced by the current building in 1938, was named the Prince of Wales and opened in 1872.

The building has been owned for some years by Crown Coast Property Group, who have twice applied to the council for permission to build flats on the site and been turned down, with the council’s refusal suggesting it has more ambitious plans for the area.

The Prince of Wales pub (courtesy of Ian Forster/

Speaking to the Echo today, a spokesperson for Crown Coast said the “longer-term plan” is still that the site “will be redeveloped” but that locals are unlikely to see any progress for some years.

The company is currently awaiting a decision from the Planning Inspectorate after appealing the council’s most recent refusal in July of this year.

The letter submitted to the Planning Inspectorate states the company wants to “maximise the efficient use of this underused, accessible brownfield site” by “providing six new high-quality homes and commercial floorspace”.

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The rejected plans Crown Coast has appealed (credit: Crown Coast Property Group)

Initial plans, submitted in 2020, sought permission to knock down the pub building and build an eight-storey block with nine flats above ground-floor commercial space. However, after this was rejected, the company submitted a new application to extend the existing building to four storeys, creating just six flats.

Rejecting this plan in October last year, the council’s assistant director for development management Justin Carr wrote that the plans were refused because the site “forms part of a significant wider growth opportunity”.

The original plans the council rejected (credit: Crown Coast Property Group)

His letter continues: “The piecemeal development of this site in isolation is not supported at this time. Comprehensive redevelopment of this site along with adjacent sites would unlock the site’s full development potential and deliver a far greater regeneration opportunity. 

“The proposed development is unacceptable in principle, by virtue of its plot coverage, position, design, bulk and form, would result in an unduly dominant and bulky building, resulting in substantial overdevelopment of the site.”

The Planning Inspectorate has yet to state when it will make a decision on Crown Coast’s appeal.

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