Please re-lease me

PUBLISHED: 17:51 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 25 August 2010

A COUNCIL which turned a much-loved pub into a café despite residents opposition is now looking for a new leaseholder.

A COUNCIL which turned a much-loved pub into a café despite residents' opposition is now looking for a new leaseholder.

Greenwich council refused to sell the lease of the Tudor Barn in Well Hall Pleasaunce, Eltham, to another pub owner when it closed in January this year.

But the council have put the lease out to tender just SIX months after they decided to open it themselves as a café.

Furious residents are demanding their pub back.

Valerie Dempsey, 63, of Prince Rupert Road, Eltham, said: "It has broken up a community. We don't want it as a café.

"I don't know why they turned down an experienced publican. A lot of pensioners who used to go to the pub, now just stay indoors. And then they just get forgotten.

"It opened up as a tea shop years ago and it didn't work. We hoped the council learnt a lesson."

The lease went on sale after the previous holder David Knott, 48, from Eltham wanted to get out of the drinks trade.

A council spokesperson said: "Proposals must ensure that the use of the building will be suited to its location and provide a community facility.

"The building must also be available for hire by community groups for functions and meetings at a suitable cost and at times to be agreed.

"The council considers that operating a café/tearoom during the day and a licensed restaurant in the evening may be most appropriate, with the premises also being available for hire for functions such as wedding receptions, parties, business conferencing and meetings."

Greenwich council are also looking for leaseholders for a new café in East Greenwich Pleasaunce, Chevening Road, Greenwich, which is due to open next year.

For further information contact the council on 020 8921 5515 or email

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