A two-year planning saga finally came to a close last night (November 9) as councillors unanimously backed plans to demolish a traditional pub and replace it with housing.

After having two previous applications refused, developer Constable Homes has finally been granted planning permission to knock down the Sixteen String Jack pub in Coppice Row, Theydon Bois.

Four two-bedroom maisonettes, three two-bed apartments and one two-bed cottage will be built.

Constable said the pub, now closed for several years, was “unviable” as a business and planners from Epping Forest District Council said the development would be “a meaningful contribution towards new homes in the district in a desirable location”.

The proposal was the latest in a long line from Constable, which was refused permission for 11 flats on the site last year, and 13 the year before.

Upholding the council’s decision against the larger development in March, planning inspector Claire Victory said its “adverse impacts” would significantly outweigh any benefits.

The proposal was too big, had too few parking spaces and would cause “significant harm” to neighbours by blocking their views, she said.

With Constable’s newest design smaller and more spread out, objectors including Theydon Bois Parish Council withdrew their complaints and the plans were backed by district council officers.

Speaking at last night’s meeting, applicant Rory Anderson from Constable said: “I have learnt a lot over the course of this project, particularly the importance of engaging properly and meaningfully, and to not just simply rely on planning policy, which, as we all know, can be very subjective.

“As a developer, understanding the views of those in the area and engaging with them is of fundamental importance.”

Despite the changes, the Theydon Bois Action Group (TBAG) and City of London Corporation still opposed the plans, saying they were out of keeping with the area.

TBAG claimed developers failed to address the planning inspector’s verdict on the larger plans, saying the newest proposal was still too bulky and disruptive.

Despite the potential issues, councillors unanimously backed the plans after councillor John Philip praised Constable for listening to local people.