Hundreds sign petition to save historic Ewell pub
Hundreds have signed a petition to save a historic pub from becoming a fast food outlet after fears it will become a magnet for traffic accidents, anti-social behaviour and litter.
Elaine Jury, of Elmwood Drive in Ewell, has gathered hundreds of signatures opposing the Organ and Dragon, an English pub and Thai restaurant on London Road, being turned into a KFC restaurant and takeaway.
The historic watering hole, which has been serving the Ewell community since the 18th Century, closed in July and was bought by the fast food giant last month.
It has said the existing building will be retained and although planning permission is not required for the building to continue as a restaurant, it is necessary for it to be turned into a takeaway.
No planning application by KFC has yet been submitted to Epsom and Ewell Council.
Mrs Jury said people are concerned about the impact a fast food outlet would have on the area.
She said: "By the very nature of it being a fast food restaurant, it will have a high turnover, youngsters will meet there at night and may well apply for a late-night licence and possibly become a drive-through.
"It is an extremely busy crossroads which is right opposite a BP garage where people are regularly coming and going.
"It is an accident waiting to happen as there have been a number of accidents and minor incidents at these crossroads.
"By their own admission, the KFC would see another 80 cars going in and out of there an hour.
"What about the overspill of these cars on parking and traffic in the area?"
Stoneleigh Councillor Mike Teasdale, who attended an exhibition of KFC’s plans and proposals on August 22, said a number of residents in Stoneleigh had contacted him about the issue.
He said: "A number of people are concerned, but without knowing what is going on, when KFC will open and for what times and what they will be doing about picking up litter, it’s very difficult to know at this stage what the problems will be."
A spokesman for KFC said it would be working closely with residents to develop its plans before an application is submitted.
He said: "We believe KFC can be a positive addition to any community. All of our restaurants carry out regular litter picks, raise money for designated charities as well as provide jobs for people within the area."
Mrs Jury will be visiting residents in Ewell, door-to-door, with the petition.