Campaigning squatters hoping to register the Doctor Johnson in Barkingside as an 'asset of community value'

Community bid to protect grade II-listed derelict pub

Marco Juno, Gee, Radek Wieckowski and Nabil Ahmed inside the pub

The grade II listed building has been empty for three years

First published in News
Last updated
East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter, covering Chingford, Highams Park and Woodford. Call me on 07795 476 625

There is hope a derelict grade II-listed pub at the heart of a long-running legal dispute between its owner and tenant could be saved by the community.

A group of campaigning squatters moved into the abandoned Doctor Johnson Pub, in Longwood Gardens in Barkingside, in May in an attempt to bring it back into use.

But a week later they voluntarily left after security employed by the pub's owners, Cloverton Properties turned up at the pub.  

Now the squatters, who are members of group Suspenses Property Guardians, are hoping to register the site as an 'Asset of Community Value' (ACV) in order to secure its future.

This will allow them and the community time to develop a bid and raise the money to buy the building if it is put on the market.

The ACV was introduced in September 2012 as part of the Localism Act 2011 with the aim of giving communities the opportunity to take control of facilities in their neighbourhood. 

The group has today spoken to local businesses in Barkingside and gathered the 21 signatures necessary to apply for ACV status. This will now be submitted to Redbridge council.

Suspenses Property Guardians spokesman Gee, 41, is still hoping to strike a deal with the Colverton to re-open the pub, but the landlord is in a long-running legal dispute with the tenant, Spirit Pub Company.

He  said: "Registering the building as a community asset is just one of the things we're doing to protect this pub.

"We're not going to let this lie. We have to get this buildling and I will do whatever it takes legally.

"Something needs to be done and the only reason we took up residence in the pub is because members of the public contacted us about its abandonment."

The Spirit Pub Company took over the grade II listed pub three years ago in the hope of re-opening it as a pub, but the company is now trying to sever its ties with Cloverton Properties Limited.

Comments (19)

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5:59pm Tue 3 Jun 14

jackblack007 says...

more chance of a jewish pope than this place opening again.
more chance of a jewish pope than this place opening again. jackblack007
  • Score: -4

7:04pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Bunch of chancers.

If they want a pub why don't they go through the proper channels?

Will this be commensurate with their benefit claims?
Bunch of chancers. If they want a pub why don't they go through the proper channels? Will this be commensurate with their benefit claims? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -6

7:28pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

The proper channels have ended up with the building being in this state. That's why we are doing what we are doing. In this case the proper channels just don't work.

Our actions in the building have resulted in the owners and tenants taking responsibility and at the least preventing further damage to the building.

The inside of that pub is a wreck.. and it's going to take a lot of hard work to get it usable again... here you have a group of people willing to put that hard work in to get themselves a place to stay and a chance to build something from their lives. It's important that you understand quite how much hard work is going to be involved. No one is getting anything for free.

I hope this puts your mind at ease a little. :)
The proper channels have ended up with the building being in this state. That's why we are doing what we are doing. In this case the proper channels just don't work. Our actions in the building have resulted in the owners and tenants taking responsibility and at the least preventing further damage to the building. The inside of that pub is a wreck.. and it's going to take a lot of hard work to get it usable again... here you have a group of people willing to put that hard work in to get themselves a place to stay and a chance to build something from their lives. It's important that you understand quite how much hard work is going to be involved. No one is getting anything for free. I hope this puts your mind at ease a little. :) Suspenses
  • Score: 4

7:31pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.
If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful. Suspenses
  • Score: 5

7:32pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

www.nightofsuspenses
.co.uk
www.nightofsuspenses .co.uk Suspenses
  • Score: 2

8:15pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Suspenses wrote:
If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.
Er... But it ain't yours to occupy?
[quote][p][bold]Suspenses[/bold] wrote: If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.[/p][/quote]Er... But it ain't yours to occupy? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -3

8:42pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

That's the whole point of negotiating with the owner. Occupation is a last resort *but* legal tool that people such as you and me are able to actually have some effect on these kind of issues.

If you see a problem with a neglected building.. and no-one is doing anything about it.. you have that legal right to do so. Don't fight to lose it!

And once the building is back up and running we would welcome people from the area getting involved with their own ideas of what functions that building can serve. If it's done intelligently and with plenty of decent people's help... everyone can benefit... even the owners.
That's the whole point of negotiating with the owner. Occupation is a last resort *but* legal tool that people such as you and me are able to actually have some effect on these kind of issues. If you see a problem with a neglected building.. and no-one is doing anything about it.. you have that legal right to do so. Don't fight to lose it! And once the building is back up and running we would welcome people from the area getting involved with their own ideas of what functions that building can serve. If it's done intelligently and with plenty of decent people's help... everyone can benefit... even the owners. Suspenses
  • Score: 4

8:43pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Suspenses wrote:
If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.
Whilst you are in there you as the occupier will be responsible for the business rates can you confirm that you have registered to pay these with the local authority?

Also have you registered with the water rates and other utilities or will you just do a runner when they boot you out?

It is still not illegal to have a property one owns as empty, and an empty property is better than one with a bunch of freeloading squatters milking the utilities and holding raves and smoking weed.
[quote][p][bold]Suspenses[/bold] wrote: If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.[/p][/quote]Whilst you are in there you as the occupier will be responsible for the business rates can you confirm that you have registered to pay these with the local authority? Also have you registered with the water rates and other utilities or will you just do a runner when they boot you out? It is still not illegal to have a property one owns as empty, and an empty property is better than one with a bunch of freeloading squatters milking the utilities and holding raves and smoking weed. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -4

8:56pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

Villagecranberry wrote:
Suspenses wrote:
If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.
Whilst you are in there you as the occupier will be responsible for the business rates can you confirm that you have registered to pay these with the local authority?

Also have you registered with the water rates and other utilities or will you just do a runner when they boot you out?

It is still not illegal to have a property one owns as empty, and an empty property is better than one with a bunch of freeloading squatters milking the utilities and holding raves and smoking weed.
It's not illegal to have a property empty. You are right. It is however, **** selfish, irresponsible, in some cases negligent, and downright offensive. It is also pretty dumb when there are thousands upon thousands of people who need space for millions of reasons... but cannot afford the increasing costs of renting that space from the kind of people who keep those properties empty in the first place.

Other than that... your comments about doing a runner and holding raves and smoking pot.. well, they are stereotypes. I'm sure you are well aware of the reasons we don't stereotype people anymore. I think that kind of stuff went out in the 80's with the Young Ones. ;)
[quote][p][bold]Villagecranberry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Suspenses[/bold] wrote: If you want a little more info.. why not check out our website? If you still feel the same way after reading it... then we can have a theoretical discussion about who deserves what. In the meantime there's an empty building doing nothing that could be being useful.[/p][/quote]Whilst you are in there you as the occupier will be responsible for the business rates can you confirm that you have registered to pay these with the local authority? Also have you registered with the water rates and other utilities or will you just do a runner when they boot you out? It is still not illegal to have a property one owns as empty, and an empty property is better than one with a bunch of freeloading squatters milking the utilities and holding raves and smoking weed.[/p][/quote]It's not illegal to have a property empty. You are right. It is however, **** selfish, irresponsible, in some cases negligent, and downright offensive. It is also pretty dumb when there are thousands upon thousands of people who need space for millions of reasons... but cannot afford the increasing costs of renting that space from the kind of people who keep those properties empty in the first place. Other than that... your comments about doing a runner and holding raves and smoking pot.. well, they are stereotypes. I'm sure you are well aware of the reasons we don't stereotype people anymore. I think that kind of stuff went out in the 80's with the Young Ones. ;) Suspenses
  • Score: 5

9:07pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

Anyway... talk is cheap. :)

It's very easy to turn a blind eye because "it's not my problem, let the council take care of it." Well, sometimes you have to make it your problem and do something about it. Soi rather than converse on the internet, why not grab a broom and as paintbrush and, when and if we get the building open, come down and give us a hand making it clean, safe and usable. Then perhaps you could come up with some useful ideas of your own. Wouldn't that be nice? :)
Anyway... talk is cheap. :) It's very easy to turn a blind eye because "it's not my problem, let the council take care of it." Well, sometimes you have to make it your problem and do something about it. Soi rather than converse on the internet, why not grab a broom and as paintbrush and, when and if we get the building open, come down and give us a hand making it clean, safe and usable. Then perhaps you could come up with some useful ideas of your own. Wouldn't that be nice? :) Suspenses
  • Score: 4

9:46pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Suspenses wrote:
Anyway... talk is cheap. :)

It's very easy to turn a blind eye because "it's not my problem, let the council take care of it." Well, sometimes you have to make it your problem and do something about it. Soi rather than converse on the internet, why not grab a broom and as paintbrush and, when and if we get the building open, come down and give us a hand making it clean, safe and usable. Then perhaps you could come up with some useful ideas of your own. Wouldn't that be nice? :)
No it would not be nice because I'm not a squatter and I'm law abiding. Why would I want to paint someone else's property up for nothing who could well afford to have it painted themselves? I'd rather paint an OAP's house up who could not afford it.

You are deluding yourself into believing you are going to get a pub on the cheap and no doubt you have all been browsing paint charts and soft furnishings for your new found pipe dream but take a reality check as you do not own it and no doubt the wheels of justice are slowly turning to boot your scraggy backsides out of the owners premises as I type.
[quote][p][bold]Suspenses[/bold] wrote: Anyway... talk is cheap. :) It's very easy to turn a blind eye because "it's not my problem, let the council take care of it." Well, sometimes you have to make it your problem and do something about it. Soi rather than converse on the internet, why not grab a broom and as paintbrush and, when and if we get the building open, come down and give us a hand making it clean, safe and usable. Then perhaps you could come up with some useful ideas of your own. Wouldn't that be nice? :)[/p][/quote]No it would not be nice because I'm not a squatter and I'm law abiding. Why would I want to paint someone else's property up for nothing who could well afford to have it painted themselves? I'd rather paint an OAP's house up who could not afford it. You are deluding yourself into believing you are going to get a pub on the cheap and no doubt you have all been browsing paint charts and soft furnishings for your new found pipe dream but take a reality check as you do not own it and no doubt the wheels of justice are slowly turning to boot your scraggy backsides out of the owners premises as I type. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -5

10:55pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

I think that if you were to go and paint an OAP's property that would be a wonderful thing. You should do that. You should definitely do that.

And then, if you have time and if we get the pub, you can come down and help make it usable for hundreds of people. You have to remember that we are not trying to get a building for ourselves... But to get a space open for the community to use. Not a pub and not a profit making enterprise. When you have seen what really goes into it you will probably change your mind. Check out the website and you can see some examples where this actually works.
I think that if you were to go and paint an OAP's property that would be a wonderful thing. You should do that. You should definitely do that. And then, if you have time and if we get the pub, you can come down and help make it usable for hundreds of people. You have to remember that we are not trying to get a building for ourselves... But to get a space open for the community to use. Not a pub and not a profit making enterprise. When you have seen what really goes into it you will probably change your mind. Check out the website and you can see some examples where this actually works. Suspenses
  • Score: 7

12:35am Wed 4 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

One thing that is important to remember.. we DID NOT break the law. The police were in attendance on the first day and if we had broken the law then we would have been arrested. We were not and voluntarily gave the building back a week later as we promised to do.

In fact we are using laws that were first put in place years ago to protect people in times of crisis. For example after the blitz to allow communities to re-build houses when owners could not be found or would not help. These laws were designed to protect people. Now certain people have learned how to make money from a crisis... even now as we suffer a worldwide economic recession those people are still doing very very well out of it. You must have noticed?

Now they are trying to remove these laws that protect people and create more laws that protect money and property. All we are trying to do is encourage people to think differently about some of these really important subjects. We think, if you read up about it you might change your mind.

Some of our most passionate members started off as our most vocal opponents! Goodnight.
One thing that is important to remember.. we DID NOT break the law. The police were in attendance on the first day and if we had broken the law then we would have been arrested. We were not and voluntarily gave the building back a week later as we promised to do. In fact we are using laws that were first put in place years ago to protect people in times of crisis. For example after the blitz to allow communities to re-build houses when owners could not be found or would not help. These laws were designed to protect people. Now certain people have learned how to make money from a crisis... even now as we suffer a worldwide economic recession those people are still doing very very well out of it. You must have noticed? Now they are trying to remove these laws that protect people and create more laws that protect money and property. All we are trying to do is encourage people to think differently about some of these really important subjects. We think, if you read up about it you might change your mind. Some of our most passionate members started off as our most vocal opponents! Goodnight. Suspenses
  • Score: 6

1:30am Wed 4 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

Suspenses wrote:
www.nightofsuspenses

.co.uk
Suspenses killing me.
[quote][p][bold]Suspenses[/bold] wrote: www.nightofsuspenses .co.uk[/p][/quote]Suspenses killing me. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -8

1:49am Wed 4 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

Softly with our song. :)
Softly with our song. :) Suspenses
  • Score: 4

11:04am Wed 4 Jun 14

T. Watts says...

@Suspenses - good luck with your venture! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve success!!!

I'm just sorry you got suckered into a long and meaningless debate with this site's troll Villagecranberry aka Cornbeefur aka Rubbernecker aka Mr Khalid aka Howard Wollowitz aka Fresh Gravee - and others too tedious to remember.

He'll start going on about the Orford Road and darleks next!
@Suspenses - good luck with your venture! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve success!!! I'm just sorry you got suckered into a long and meaningless debate with this site's troll Villagecranberry aka Cornbeefur aka Rubbernecker aka Mr Khalid aka Howard Wollowitz aka Fresh Gravee - and others too tedious to remember. He'll start going on about the Orford Road and darleks next! T. Watts
  • Score: 6

12:56pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

T. Watts wrote:
@Suspenses - good luck with your venture! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve success!!!

I'm just sorry you got suckered into a long and meaningless debate with this site's troll Villagecranberry aka Cornbeefur aka Rubbernecker aka Mr Khalid aka Howard Wollowitz aka Fresh Gravee - and others too tedious to remember.

He'll start going on about the Orford Road and darleks next!
Thank you. Although I'm not entirely sure that "cranberry" is the most appropriate word to follow "Village" in his/her username... ;)

Please feel free to come visit us, if we do manage to get it up and running.
[quote][p][bold]T. Watts[/bold] wrote: @Suspenses - good luck with your venture! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve success!!! I'm just sorry you got suckered into a long and meaningless debate with this site's troll Villagecranberry aka Cornbeefur aka Rubbernecker aka Mr Khalid aka Howard Wollowitz aka Fresh Gravee - and others too tedious to remember. He'll start going on about the Orford Road and darleks next![/p][/quote]Thank you. Although I'm not entirely sure that "cranberry" is the most appropriate word to follow "Village" in his/her username... ;) Please feel free to come visit us, if we do manage to get it up and running. Suspenses
  • Score: 4

12:59pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Suspenses says...

By the way you can follow us on twitter for any updates as they come.

@SPGuardians
By the way you can follow us on twitter for any updates as they come. @SPGuardians Suspenses
  • Score: 3

9:03pm Wed 4 Jun 14

Villagecranberry says...

T. Watts wrote:
@Suspenses - good luck with your venture! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve success!!!

I'm just sorry you got suckered into a long and meaningless debate with this site's troll Villagecranberry aka Cornbeefur aka Rubbernecker aka Mr Khalid aka Howard Wollowitz aka Fresh Gravee - and others too tedious to remember.

He'll start going on about the Orford Road and darleks next!
No, you seem to be the only person mentioning Darleks, and Orford Road and you seem to be the only Troll. Now you are backing up squatters trespassing on people's property.

As for Suspense, although I do not agree with his reasoning and justification for entering property that does not belong to him or her, this person is pretty cool and very reserved and laid back. Seems they can do without your input.
[quote][p][bold]T. Watts[/bold] wrote: @Suspenses - good luck with your venture! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you achieve success!!! I'm just sorry you got suckered into a long and meaningless debate with this site's troll Villagecranberry aka Cornbeefur aka Rubbernecker aka Mr Khalid aka Howard Wollowitz aka Fresh Gravee - and others too tedious to remember. He'll start going on about the Orford Road and darleks next![/p][/quote]No, you seem to be the only person mentioning Darleks, and Orford Road and you seem to be the only Troll. Now you are backing up squatters trespassing on people's property. As for Suspense, although I do not agree with his reasoning and justification for entering property that does not belong to him or her, this person is pretty cool and very reserved and laid back. Seems they can do without your input. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -5

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