DOVER KENT ARCHIVES
PUB LIST PUBLIC HOUSES Paul Skelton

Earliest 1947

Battle of Britain

October 2016

Shear's Green

Coldharbour Road

Northfleet

01474 248451

http://www.brakspear.co.uk

Battle of Britain pre 1962

Above photo showing the old "Battle of Britain" demolished in 1962.

Above photo kindly supplied by John Hopperton.

Battle of Britain

Above photo, circa 2010. Kindly supplied by John Hopperton.

Battle of Britain sign 2015Battle of Britain sign 2015

Above signs, July 2015.

Battle of Britain bar 2016

Above photo showing inside of bar. Taken from their web in 2016.

Battle of Britain bar 2016

Above photo showing inside of bar. Taken from their web in 2016.

Battle of Britain bar 2016

Above photo showing inside of bar. Taken from their web in 2016.

Battle of Britain 2016

Above photo, October 2016 by Ian Goodrick.

Battle of Britain 2016

Above photo, October 2016 by Ian Goodrick.

 

Local news (29 September 2016) suggests that the pub is about to close and the last day will be 2nd October 2016.

 

Battle of Britian demolition

Demolition has started, October 2016.

 

Strewth, they were quick off the mark with this one. They just couldn't wait to get the building demolished and didn't even wait for the necessary permission before they got started.

 

From http://www.kentonline.co.uk, by Lizzie Massey, 12 October 2016.

Council step in after people were shocked when a pub started being demolished without authorisation.

People were left shocked when bulldozers rolled up to a loved community pub and began an unauthorised demolition.

The Battle of Britain pub in Coldharbour Road, Gravesend, has a pending planning application for flats to be built on the premises, but that is yet to be considered and decided on by Gravesham council.

But bulldozers turned up to the site today and workers began destroying it.

Battle of Britain demolition

The Battle of Britain pub is demolished.

Concerned neighbours alerted the council and an officer visited the site to halt the action.

A council spokesman said: "A planning application has been put in for flats, as has an application notice to demolish, but has neither of these things have been determined.

"An officer has been to the site and further investigations into the safety of the building are underway. The report from that will clarify what can now be done."

Battle of Britain demolition

Diggers at the site

Angela Hall, 41, of Packham Road, said: “The building is a part of history as well as being a meeting place for many locals and families, popular for its large garden and children's play area, restaurant, live music and its support of the Ellenor Hospice who hold their fundraising events here.

Battle of Britain demolition

Demolition on the pub started without permission.

Battle of Britain demolition

The unauthorised demolition at the pub.

"I'm shocked by this news and disgusted with Brakespear brewery!”

She has always lived in Gravesend but has been living in the Coldharbour area for the past 18 years.

She used to go there with her children, who are now grown up, and her dog. She particularly enjoyed the Rock and Roll themed evenings.

Battle of Britain before demolition

The Battle of Britain pub in Gravesend before demolition began.

She said: “Everyone would come, it really was a community pub and had a nice feel about it especially as it had a children’s play area out the back.”

“It was a family place and there is nowhere else around here like it, it’s a real shame and a shame it’s lost the community feel.”

Despite people's love for the pub, the building is not listed, is not in a conservation area, and no request to list is as a community asset has been received by the council.

The pub's manager Phil Davies and Brakspear Brewery have been contacted for a comment.

 

13/10/2016 08:49:17. Jason Parker wrote:

Make them rebuild it. Another council made the developer rebuild brick by brick. See here CLICK.

 

13/10/2016 02:14:25. irwin wrote:

Yet, make a small change to your own property, an inch or to 'over' what the Council dictates and they will be on you like a ton of bricks.

 

12/10/2016 23:56:29. Bill wrote:

The application to demolish has only just been submitted to GBC nothing agreed. Demolition has commenced without permission.

I notice from the application submitted there is a document which states a report must be produced before demolition with regards to asbestos and other hazardous materials which if found will have to be dealt with by specialist contractors.

It is Highly doubtful, due to the rush to demolish that there would have been enough time to carry out these searches or to produce the report, a major concern given the close proximity of Shears Green School there may have been a serious HSE breach requires investigation.

 

12/10/2016 20:21:48. Rowmarsh wrote:

Gravesham Borough Council Planners will now accept the fate of what has happened and do a Section 106 deal with the developer (a sweetener of money towards the community which we won't benefit from) and once again the big cats get what they want. Bet the design and look of the flats is appalling and cheap? If you want to see what appalling applications are approved go and have a good look at what we locally call 'The Shed' that is being built in Sharland Road off Whitehill Road. No parking along Sharland Road and the building in question has been squeezed onto the side of a garden, with no windows for natural light, no proper garden and no parking. And as for the aesthetics of the building? It has been clad with gloss panelled boarding fixed with studs. It looks like a temporary site hut. That is want Gravesham Borough Council imposes and approved without looking at the consequences for established residents in a 1920's road. Yet we have a council that has got into bed with Edinburgh Property who are developing the Heritage Quarter. Another major development that is dead in the water, no direction from the Chief Executive and Leader, and a very unpopular town centre redevelopment that will do nothing to make the town attractive and prosperous. So lets wait and see what Gravesham BC does with the flouting of the planning laws at the Battle of Britain and lets watch them drag yet another decision out.

 

From http://www.kentonline.co.uk, by Lizzie Massey, 13 October 2016.

Council 'forced to allow' more demolition to half-standing Battle of Britain pub which was torn down illegally.

A council has been forced to allow more demolition to an already half-standing pub which was torn down illegally - and after false promises.

People were furious when bulldozers rolled up to the loved and historic community "Battle of Britain" pub and began an unauthorised demolition earlier this week.

Neighbours reported the machines turning up to Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, under the cover of night to start the work, undetected by council officers.

Putnam Construction Services, contracted to carry out the work, were forced to stop as soon as the council got wind of the work, but then continued to illegally demolish the site yet again once the council officer's had left.

Now there is so much gone, it has been deemed dangerous by Gravesham council and more needs to be knocked down to make it safe.

Developers Caldecotte Group applied to the council on October 5 to request a determination as to whether permission was needed prior to demolition of the building.

That application has not been decided and on October 7 the developer confirmed in writing that “demolition will not begin until the prior approval application is determined”.

A spokesman for the council said: "Planning officers were astonished when they visited the site on October 12, because demolition had begun.

"The site foreman said one wall had been rendered unsafe and would have to be removed but agreed to stop work until a further building control visit later that day.

"Officers returned and were shocked that much more of the building had been knocked down.

"A structural expert examined the building later that afternoon and reported that a large section of it had been rendered dangerous and now needed to be demolished.

"The council is seeking an explanation from the developer."

Battle of Britain demolition

Putnam Construction services were contracted to conduct the demolition.

In April 2012 an application to build a pair of semi detached houses on the site was approved but that permission has now lapsed. There are no other planning applications pending there.

Putnam Construction Services, contracted to carry out the work, have declined to comment. As has the Brakspear Brewery owned by the applicant for the demolition J. T Davies & Sons.

Paul Sturgess of the Caldecotte Group and the pub's manager Phil Davies have been contacted for a comment.

Battle of Britain demolition

Demolition on the pub started without permission.

The "Battle of Britain" pub was originally a wooden hut which stood behind the current building’s location. It was created by RAF personnel in 1947.

It was built to commemorate a wartime event, when Gravesend was the first RAF station to operate the American P-51 Mustang III long-range single-seat fighter-bomber.

In 1961, the owners of the pub purchased Shears Green House, which became the current "Battle of Britain" pub. The old hut was demolished in May 1962.

 

Battle of Britain 2016

Above photo by Ian Goodrick, showing all that's left of the pub, taken 14th October, 2016.

From the http://www.kentonline.co.uk  25 October 2016 by Lizzie Massey

Council refuses demolition application of the battle of Britain pub, Northfleet, despite it already being torn down.

An application for the proposed demolition of a pub has today been refused - despite the fact it has already been torn down.

What was once a much-loved family pub, the Battle of Britain in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, is now just a hole in the ground.

Battle of Britain site 2016

Above picture of an aerial shot of the site where the Battle of Britain stood. Picture: Charly Croker.

More than 50 people stood outside the flattened remains last week in protest at it being illegally bulldozed in the dead of night.

Developer Caldecotte Group applied to the council on October 5 to ask whether permission was needed for demolition.

That application had not been decided by the council, but on October 11 the developer started to tear it down illegally without the council’s knowledge.

Today, Gravesham council reviewed and refused the application.

The authority said actions by the developer had fallen outside of the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 on three counts, so approval cannot be retrospectively validated.

The developer's site notice must be displayed for 21 days prior to the demolition works commencing, which it was not.

There is a 56 day period between the developer writing to confirm whether the building has been nominated as an Assets of Community Value, which had not been reached.

The developer had not provided a written justification as to why demolition was urgent and necessary in the interests of safety or health, which is a requirement too.

Given the unlawful actions, the operation enforcement action is being considered by the council.

A spokesman said: “Gravesham Borough Council is considering the expediency of further action and is seeking legal advice on this matter.”

Cllr Bronwen McGarrity, for Coldharbour ward, was among the 50 people furious with the demolition, and that council officers’ demands that the developers to stop mid way through the destruction were ignored.

Cllr McGarrity said: “It’s the way these developers have gone about all this which has angered people.

“From what I understand, at the end of the month a different developer will be involved, and the demolition company was also externally contracted. All these changes makes it very hard to pin anybody down.”

Battle of Britain demonstration

Demonstrators outside the site of the former Battle of Britain pub, Coldharbour Road, Northfleet.

There is a chance to list the pub as a community asset, but it would mean a person or community group buying the land.

Cllr McGarrity said: “This site is a quarter of an acre. People just don’t have the money to buy it up.

“We know these workers have not taken proper safety measures and that is a huge concern. There was not time for any asbestos checks, and there is a school right next door.”

The Health and Safety Executive has been contacted for a comment, but no reply has been received.

Putnam Construction Services, contracted to carry out the work, has declined to comment.

As has the Brakspear Brewery owned by the applicant for the demolition J. T Davies & Sons, Paul Sturgess of the Caldecotte Group and the pub’s most recent manager Phil Davies.

 

From the http://www.kentonline.co.uk 18 November 2016, by Lizzie Massey.

Boost in bid to have Battle of Britain rebuilt to original state after community asset bid.

Developers may be forced to rebuild a popular pub as an application has gone in to turn it into a community asset.

The Battle of Britain in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, was pulled down under the cover of darkness last month prompting local people to insist it be rebuilt “brick by brick”.

They hope that listing it as a community asset could mean developers are forced to reconstruct it to the original specification and then offer it for sale as a pub, rather than flats or houses.

Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain pub in Gravesend before demolition began.

Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, an independent body which campaigns for community pubs and consumer rights has previously fought for The "Crown and Thistle" pub in The Terrace, Gravesend, to be listed and now it has applied to Gravesham council for the Battle of Britain to be listed too.

Peter Cook, the treasurer of the Gravesend and Darenth branch, said: “The owners of the Battle have done wrong by knocking it down. If they are allowed to get away with that, what is the point in any of these planning laws?

“If the council cracks down they could be forced to rebuild it, and we think they should. It can be done, it’s happening at the moment with pubs in London.”

Residents, including a campaigner for the pub, Tina Brooker, and local councillor Bronwen McGarrity, have said for some time that the former landlord of the pub was obstructed by the owner in improvements to the pub and left and since then the new management has run it down with a sale in mind.

Mr Cook said: “Of course you can’t expect people to run an unviable business, but in this case it seems the developer knew it would be bought up as a pub.

“But housing on the same plot of land sells for much more than a pub ever would.”

If the application is accepted and the pub rebuilt, the owner would need to offer the Battle for sale as a pub initially.

Camra are confident somebody would buy it, but if not it would only be at that stage the owner of the land could bulldoze or sell it for building flats or houses in it place.

A council spokeswoman said: “There is a process to be followed and this is on-going. Once this has been completed we will revisit the planning situation.”

Putnam Construction Services, contracted to carry out the work, has declined to comment throughout this process.

As has the Brakspear Brewery owned by the applicant for the demolition J. T Davies & Sons, Paul Sturgess of the developer the Caldecotte Group, and the pub’s most recent manager Phil Davies.

Asbestos Concerns

Asbestos remains a cause of serious concern as campaigners for the pub, which is right next to a school, say it was torn down without proper safety measures.

Cllr Bronwen McGarrity, for Coldharbour ward, was among 50 people who stood outside in protest last month, after council officers’ demands that the developers to stop midway through the work were ignored.

“We know these workers have not taken proper safety measures and that is a huge concern. There was not time for any asbestos checks, and there is a school right next door,” she said.

Jill Inglis, from the Health and Safety Executive, said they were only made aware of the demolition after it had happened.

She added: “We have followed up on concerns about the asbestos and are satisfied the duty holder has managed the risk from asbestos appropriately.”

Tina Brooker, of The Warren, Gravesend, who is leading the campaign to save the pub said: “I’ve seen the documents the HSE have, stating the asbestos was all safely removed on October 12 but we know that the building was already almost demolished. There’s no way surveys and safe removals could have happened then.

“The HSE has just taken the document they’ve been sent on face value, and don’t seem to want to dig deeper.

“There’s no mention of asbestos in the out buildings either, which the previous landlord said was present.”

According to the HSE’s own regulations the duty holder of the land/building must “locate and identify all ACM (asbestos containing material) before any structural work begins at a stated location or on stated equipment at the premises. It involves destructive inspection and asbestos disturbance. The area surveyed must be vacated, and certified fit for reoccupation after the survey”.

The owner of the land, J. T Davies & Sons, has been uncontactable to verify this and the Messenger has asked HSE for confirmation.

The campaigners are calling on the council to follow in the footsteps of Wandsworth which, this summer, issued a blanket Article 4 directive on all its pubs and bars, which gives them greater protection and means that any change of use or development of a pub would have to have approval by the council.

The council is the first in the country to instigate Article 4.

 

LICENSEE LIST

DAVIES Phil up to 2016

 

If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-

TOP Valid CSS Valid XTHML

 

LINK to www.Pubshistory.com