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Earl Haig Hall: Former Crouch End pub and British Legion building 'could become gym or restaurant'

PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 January 2019

Staff of Earl Haig Hall, Crouch End celebrating its first birthday - pictured 
Gergo Baranyi, Luke Shorter, Hannah Pierce, Mark Tovell and Tom Cahoon

Staff of Earl Haig Hall, Crouch End celebrating its first birthday - pictured Gergo Baranyi, Luke Shorter, Hannah Pierce, Mark Tovell and Tom Cahoon

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Crouch End's Earl Haig Hall "could be a gym or restaurant" according to the agent touting the old British Legion hall to potential tenants.

Until the first week in January it was operating as a pub with a strong community ethos. But after pub company Antic sold the lease and shut up shop, its future is uncertain.

Nick Furlong, an agent at BC Retail who are marketing the property for new owners the Max Barney Company told the Ham&High: “What’s clear to me is that it didn’t work in its current guise. A problem will be getting planning permission, but that’ll be a problem for most prospective tenants.

“We’ve had interest from gym operators, restaurants and other pub operators, so it’s likely that things will change, but I think the configuration of the premises is likely to stay the same.”

Crouch End’s Liberal Democrat councillor Luke Cawley-Harrison told the Ham&High this was worrying news and called for its use as a pub to be protected.

He said: “I was saddened to hear of the recent closure of the Earl Haig Hall in Crouch End. In just five years, the Earl Haig had become a local institution.

“Having spoken to residents, I know there is real appetite amongst locals for the hall to be given the opportunity to remain as a pub, with the same spirit of the Earl Haig. I hope to see that happen.”

Community campaigner Adrian Essex said Earl Haig Hall’s closure was disappointing but that he was hopeful any planning application to alter the building would be defeated, as was the case after the local British Legion branch left the premises in 2010, before Antic bought the lease.

He said: “Antic did almost nothing to it, which was exactly the right amount to do. Its charm lies in genteel decay, but it is clearly not charming enough to pay the interest on the loan.

“There is no imminent danger to the fabric and won’t be until a planning application goes in.”

In a bid to deter developers, the building previously had Asset of Community Value (ACV) status, but this lapsed during Antic’s stewardship of the building so local community groups were not able to bid for the premises when it came on the market.

At this stage no tenancy has been agreed.

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