Pub demolitions probed by council

The Maze Inn as it looked shortly before its closure in 2016
The Maze Inn as it looked shortly before its closure in 2016 – the whole building was demolished without permission this summer (credit Ewan Munro/Flickr)

Report by James Cracknell

Enfield Council is taking legal action against the owners of a Southgate pub after it was demolished without permission – while another in Ponders End could face a similar fate.

The Maze Inn in Chase Side, dating from the 1930s and sitting within Southgate Circus Conservation Area, was unexpectedly demolished over the summer. Planning permission had been granted in 2015 to build a four-storey block of eight flats in its rear courtyard, but the front of the original pub building was supposed to be kept and restored.

Chris Horner, vice chair of Southgate District Civic Trust, told the Dispatch: “They had no right to demolish it – this has come out of the blue and local residents were very surprised.”

The Maze Inn had many previous names, including The Rising Sun and The Coach House, but it had not been open as a pub for four years and was most recently used for storing and selling Christmas trees. In 2016 the site was sold for £3m to Fio’s Property Portfolio Ltd, but the Dispatch has been unable to contact the company for comment.

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A council spokesperson said: “We are taking enforcement action with a view to a prosecution against the unlawful demolition but will not be insisting that they rebuild the façade as was.

“They will also need a new planning application for redevelopment now and through this, they will need to demonstrate a quality approach to the replacement design.”

On the other side of the borough, fears are growing over the fate of The Boundary House, a derelict 19th Century pub in Ponders End High Street.

A planning application to convert the building into a shop with six flats was refused in 2017, while another application for its demolition and replacement with a five-storey block of flats is awaiting decision by the council. Despite no planning permission yet being granted for redevelopment of The Boundary House, its rear extension was recently demolished.

However, a council spokesperson said the local authority was not currently pursuing enforcement action in this case. They said: “We are aware of the rear extension and contractors are working on the inside of the property to strip and make good any defects.

“Enforcement officers continue to monitor the situation but there is currently no breach of planning control. Another application related to the redevelopment of the site is pending a decision.”

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