Two years ago developers gained permission to turn the Grade II listed, East Street site into 13 flats and a restaurant, but no one has taken on the running of the eatery. Now architects BB Partnership are trying to convert the empty ground floor space and basement into three flats.
“They’ve obviously had difficulty in finding suitable tenants and so they want to have flats there as well,” said Tony Richardson, 78, who has lived in Barking since 1954.
“There are a lot of places selling junk food, but we could do with a really nice, decent restaurant with a range of foods to suit a range of religions,” said the Wilmington Gardens resident.I suspect that’d be hard to find. Especially if we throw Jains into the mix.
And, c’mon, it’s Barking. It’s hardly surprising no-one in their right mind says ‘Oh, yeah! The place with the great cuisine!’, is it?
Mr Richardson also opposed the loss of original features that the first application would have entailed, but was reconciled to the second amended one that was approved. The latest submission for changed useage and listed consent, though, is the final straw for the retired law lecturer.
“It’s completely inappropriate, the applicants should not be permitted to depart from the authorised use,” he said.
“Suitable tenants can almost certainly be found if the applicants will curb their greed so that the lease and the rent reserved by it are such as to make a restaurant a viable proposition.”In other words, they should be prepared to accept a lower return on their investment just to suit some old codger who happens to live in the area. I can’t imagine why they don’t, can you?