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Ex-Organ and Dragon pub to be demolished
The much-loved ex-Organ and Dragon pub is to be demolished.
The shock news was confirmed today by supermarket chain Lidl, which bought the site - on London Road, Ewell - from fast-food outlet KFC in February.
Last year, residents rejoiced after KFC withdrew planning applications for the site of the old English pub and Thai restaurant, which shut in July 2012.
But a wrecking ball now hangs over the building, which had been home to a pub serving the community of Ewell since the 18th Century.
A spokesman for Epsom Council said it had received a ‘prior approval notification’ for demolition by Lidl at the end of February.
But as Lidl owns the building, which is not listed or locally listed and is not in a conservation area, it does not need planning permission from Epsom Council to demolish it.
He said: "The building has no status so there was no way the council could have saved it from being demolished.
"The prior approval notification process exists to give the council the opportunity to check whether the building is listed or has any special status.
"There was no case for saving the ex-Organ and Dragon building, so demolition has been permitted by default."
Clare Norman, spokeswoman for Lidl, said: "Lidl have been granted consent to demolish the existing building and Lidl intends to redevelop the site with a new Lidl food store.
"The plans are still at early design stage and a pre-application meeting will be set up with Epsom and Ewell Council in early Summer 2014."
To build a supermarket on the site after demolition, Lidl will require planning permission from Epsom Council’s planning committee.
In February, the Epsom Guardian ran a poll on this website to gauge how people felt about having a Lidl on the site and 52 per cent said they were in favour.
The pub and Thai restaurant in its heyday
This was in stark contrast to the overwhelming opposition to KFC which saw 1,000 people sign a petition against that proposal.
Epsom council's planning committee twice rejected attempts by KFC to convert the existing building into a KFC restaurant and takeaway on the grounds that it would adversely impact highway safety and efficiency - a concern which was upheld by the Government’s planning inspector when KFC appealed the first rejection.
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Residents united to sign a petition against proposals to turn the ex-Organ and Dragon pub into a KFC
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