Stevenage pub demolished to make way for flats

The King Pin pub has been demolished today as part of a council regeneration scheme

The King Pin pub has been demolished today as part of a council regeneration scheme - Credit: Archant

A former community pub is being demolished today (Monday) to make way for flats.

A demolition team set to work on The King Pin, on Archer Road in Stevenage, on Monday as part of a regeneration project under Stevenage Borough Council.

The vacated space at the neighbourhood centre will be used to build up to 30 homes available for social rent, as well as extra retail units to go alongside the existing convenience store and pharmacy. A new community centre will also be built at the nearby Hampson Park.

Sharon Taylor, leader of the council, said: “This is the first step in a fantastically exciting regeneration project for the Archer Road neighbourhood centre. The pub was popular within the community but it was not in a good condition and it hadn’t been a viable public house for a long time. We have had an extensive consultation with the residents here and hopefully we will find that this project delivers everything they would like from it.”

John Gardner, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is the start of a major regeneration scheme for this whole area and it will produce something in the area of 30 socially rented homes. It is unfortunate because, at one time, this was a very good community pub but there are pubs closing every week and this happens to be one of those that was just not commercially viable.

“These new flats will provide homes for some of the 7,000 or so people on the council’s housing list.”

Archer Road resident Lewis Tavernier, 20, was a regular at the pub before it was closed down in May last year.

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He said: “It’s a shame to see it go because my mates and I had a lot of good times there before it was shut down. I suppose it was inevitable with the way a lot of pubs are being shut down now but hopefully whatever the council is planning to replace it with will be good for the local area.”

A campaign to save the pub was originally launched in 2011. Landlord Leigh Chitty collected over 400 signatures as part of his petition. The pub was originally built in 1965 as part of the then-new Pin Green estate.

The council hopes the regeneration project will be completed by the end of 2015.