The cause of the fire is ‘under investigation’, the London Fire Brigade said
By Marco Marcelline
Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters tackled a fire at a derelict Leyton pub on Friday evening (5th January).
According to the London Fire Brigade (LFB), a single storey self-contained annex at the rear of the historic Antelope pub on 201 Church Road was destroyed by the fire. One woman was treated on scene by an ambulance team, an LFB spokesperson added.
The fire brigade was called at 5.08pm and the incident was declared over just after an hour later. Firefighters from Leyton, Leytonstone, Walthamstow and Stoke Newington fire stations attended the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. A section of Church Road near the pub was closed while emergency services carried out their response.
The pub was first opened almost 140 years prior to its closure in 2014. It has sat empty since. Around a year after its closure, Waltham Forest Council listed The Antelope as an ‘asset of community value’ which restricts planning applications on the property and gives community groups the opportunity to buy it if placed on the market.
Meanwhile, In its 2017 Lea Bridge and Leyton Vision document, the council said there was an “opportunity” to bring the pub back into use.
In the years since, Leyton residents have taken up a fight to restore the boarded-up pub after the property’s owner ducked licensing laws and illegally turned it into studio flats. An online petition in 2020 to save the pub from such an outcome gained over 2,000 signatures.
Speaking to the Echo in 2022, local residents Curran McKay and Michelle Connolly outlined their vision for the pub to be turned into a non-profit community pub owned by and for locals.
Their plans were bolstered when, in January 2021, the pub’s owner Tvzi Ltd was ordered by the Planning Inspectorate to turn the ground floor of the property back to its original use as a pub.
Later that year, the pub’s lease was put on the market for “around £50,000” by specialist estate agent Davis Coffer Lyons but it has failed to be snapped up and continues to be under the ownership of Tvzi Ltd.
The Antelope’s owner could not be reached for comment.