Neighbours call for action at derelict drugs den Stevenage pub which is a magnet for anti-social behaviour
- Credit: Archant
A derelict Stevenage pub which has become a magnet for anti-social behaviour and drug-taking needs to be secured before someone is seriously injured on the site, according to those living and working nearby.
People have been regularly breaking into the unsecured March Hare pub since it closed around two years ago.
Erdal Oncul, who owns Ed’s Kebab and Pizza next door, said: “Just after it shut some builders came down and said they were going to knock everything down and build new shops – but nothing’s happened since then.
“The biggest problem is all the broken glass. It’s everywhere on that site and unless something is done someone is going to hurt themselves badly on it.
“I’m especially worried about the children who come here. If one of them falls on the glass they could end up hurting themselves really badly.”
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The pub is boarded up at the front entrance but is easily accessible from the back, where the fence has been broken down.
Erdal thinks that Stevenage Borough Council, which owns the freehold on the site, should make use of the Burwell Road site.
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He said: “We see that pubs are closing all the time and I guess that this is just a sign of the times.
“I think the council can do something about it. It could turn it into a community centre for children and families to use.”
One couple who live very close to the building and do not want to be named have seen the site turn into its current mess.
They said: “There are fires and kids are in there every night almost. The police come around quite regularly but that doesn’t seem to put them off going there.
“We’ve also heard that homeless people have been sleeping in the building. Something needs to be done.
“We don’t think they should turn it into flats because there’s not enough parking as it is. They need something there to attract people to go into the shops that are already there – maybe a nice restaurant or a bistro.”
It is the site owner’s legal responsibility to ensure that the building is secure and safe and officers from Stevenage Borough Council are talking to the tenant about addressing the problems there.
A spokesman for the borough council said: “We are in contact with the tenant about future plans for the site, and are working with them to address some of the current issues there.”
The site is currently being advertised for rental by property consultants Drake and Company. The Comet was unable to establish the owners at the time of going to press.