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Abandoned Crowborough Cross pub branded threat to public safety

By Sussex Courier  |  Posted: April 05, 2013

  • CROSS CONCERNS: Brendan Clegg and Jarvis Brook councillor Beverley Johnstone

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THE Crowborough Cross pub is in such a serious state of disrepair it poses a threat to public safety, a surveyor has claimed.

The empty watering hole in Beacon Road has become the town's grotspot but there are now concerns the structure is insecure and parts could collapse onto the street.

Brendan Clegg, of Southview Road, has serious concerns about the south side chimney and cast iron downpipes saying the chimney is "decaying" and "cracking", while the pipes are not secure enough.

Mr Clegg, who has been a surveyor for 28 years, is so worried about the safety of the building he has written to Wealden District Council urging it to force the owner, Punch Taverns, to carry out repairs under its legal powers.

He told the Courier: "If I was the owner of the building then I wouldn't be able to sleep at night I would be so worried about it.

"If either of these items fall down they will hit areas which are accessible to the public 24 hours a day.

"Someone could easily be killed if they were hit.

"The repairs need to be done as soon as possible, it has already been too long."

The pub has been closed since November last year after checks on the cellar and kitchen found several faults.

Mr Clegg, along with Crowborough Hill resident Sonja Le Vay, are now campaigning for Wealden District Council to use further sanctions to force repairs.

"The point is Wealden District Council has extensive powers, they have been extremely lax on this issue," Mr Clegg added.

He wants the authority to serve a Dangerous Structures Notice, which forces the owner to carry out repairs to unsafe buildings.

If repairs are not done then the local authority undertakes the work and bills the owner.

The council confirmed building control had visited the pub and contact had been made with Punch Taverns.

Council spokesman Jim Van den Bos said: "A building surveyor from East Sussex Building Control Partnership has visited the building. We are satisfied that the chimney stack is safe, but there were concerns about the cast iron downpipes which we have raised with the owners."

He confirmed the issue was how they were attached to the wall.

Mr Clegg said he was "surprised" the chimney had been deemed safe because of the "noticeable lean".

A spokesman for the pub company said: "It is always our priority that our pubs provide a safe environment and we will co-operate with local residents and work closely with the local authorities to address any issues."

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  • bradya  |  April 05 2013, 1:00PM

    From what i have heard we can look forward to a meeting point for a range of ages, providing entertainment and good food and drink. Repairs can be made to a build quicker than a damaged reputation, so lets keep positive and look forward to a place where we can go and enjoy. Roll on September!

  • wildgeeza  |  April 05 2013, 9:23AM

    Dear Wealden - Compulsory purchase order please!... Don't let it become a Tunbridge Wells Cinema farce. Do you not realise this is one of the most iconic buildings/places that people see and associate Crowborough with, as they travel through and visit Ashdown(?) Not very inviting is it?

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