The Walpole pub on New Cross Road has closed and is slated for demolition under plans to build a new hotel.
The property was sold to a Middle Eastern investment company for £2.25 million with planning permission for a 60-bed hotel.
In a post on the South East Central online forum this March a user named Dan, who identified himself as the pub’s new manager, claimed the plans had fallen through. But padlocks are now fastened across the doors of the pub and its windows are blocked by black cloth.
Anthony Alder of AG&G, who managed the sale, said: “There’s such strong demand for large plots in central London and it’s close to the terminus of the East London line, near up-and-coming Stratford and with that precious permission, so the potential was clear.”
Architectural firm Kennedy Waddle prepared the plans for the new hotel. Planning permission had been granted by Lewisham Council in 2010 after a consultation the previous year. There were only two public responses including one which was supportive of the application.
Trainee social worker Natasha Logan, 35, and student Katherine Joyce, 28, used to visit the pub for its karaoke nights and said they were “very sad” it had closed.
Logan said: “It was definitely ‘the local’. If anyone was going to go for a drink for the duration of the evening, the Walpole would be the pub because they did really good Thai food and the bar staff were really friendly.”
“There were sometimes some strange locals in there, but you’d just ignore them. I recently started working, and because I enjoyed going to the Walpole so much for karaoke on a Thursday I’d drag my whole team down there.”
‘Section 106’ community benefits agreed under planning laws include an employment and training contribution to Lewisham Council as well as a funds for the promotion of tourism in the area.
If built, the hotel must also implement a cycle hire scheme and investigate the use of renewable energy for the site.
The Walpole was formerly known as the South Eastern Distillery and in 1884 was involved in a case at the Old Bailey involving the passing of counterfeit coins.
Floor plans and pictures of the proposed new building can be found here.