A Thornton Heath councillor has vowed to lie down in the doorway of a landmark pub to stop any redevelopment of the site into a fried chicken outlet.
Karen Jewitt, one of Thornton Heath’s two Labour councillors, was responding to Inside Croydon‘s report earlier this week about the collapse of plans by a trendy pub operator to take over the Thomas Farley on the High Street.
The pub has been empty for more than a year, but Jewitt has denied that there is any truth in rumours in the community that the property owner is about to lease the premises to a fried chicken outlet – something which Thornton Heath already has in abundance.
“I am not sure how many times I can repeat myself on this, but that pub will not be turned into a chicken shop,” Jewitt told Inside Croydon.
“There has been no planning application for it to be used as a fried chicken outlet, and it there were, I and Pat Clouder would oppose it strongly. I thought we’d quashed these rumours a couple of months ago.”
Jewitt’s opposition to such a change in use is strong. “They would need to get over Pat Clouder and myself as we would be lying in the doorway stopping that happening,” Jewitt said.
The councillors have an uphill struggle to maintain Thornton Heath High Street, with its proliferation of bookmakers and chicken shops, as a viable and attractive local centre.
Only this week, Barclays announced that it would be closing a branch of its bank on Brigstock Road, leaving Thornton Heath without any banks serving residents or small businesses. Santander also recently announced it was pulling out of the area.
With a growing use of online facilities, many major banks are closing their high street branches to cut costs, though the companies do appear to be selective about the areas in which they choose to continue to trade: just up the road, in Norbury, there continues to be a choice of bank branches.
Jewitt is hopeful that Thornton Heath’s branch of the Post Office, a counter in a convenience store. will be able to take on many of the services, and customers, who previously banked on the high street, to provide convenient facilities for the residents, small businesses and retailers in the area.
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