A “much-loved” community pub has suddenly shut its doors leaving regulars distraught at the prospect of losing it.

The Heathcote Arms pub in Grove Green Road in Leytonstone has been closed for several weeks with no explanation given by the owners.

The pub which is a locally listed building was saved from closure in 2014 after a petition gained over 1,000 signatures.

Businessman Jason Verdi of Fairlop Road in Leytonstone leased the pub in February 2015. The Guardian were unable to reach Mr Verdi for a comment.

Michael Head, 68, of Kimberley Road in Leytonstone said if the pub doesn’t reopen he will have nowhere else to drink with his family and friends in the neighbourhood.

The pensioner said: “I am disgusted. It’s the only pub within walking distance for me and I am disabled.

“I knew a lot of the regulars who went in there and it used to be packed when they showed football.

“When I saw it was closed I thought they were just doing refurbishments and I will be gutted if it stays closed.

“Two years ago we all signed a petition to save it and now I feel like that was a waste.”

The pub was bought by Equity Estates in September 2014 after Stonegate closed it raising concerns among regulars it would be turned into flats.

The campaign to save the pub in 2014 was supported by Blur singer and former Leytonstone resident Damon Albarn as well as comedians Alan Davies and Sean Hughes.

A regular drinker at the pub who gave his name as John said: “It is so sad to see another local pub go.

“With it coming up to summer time it would have been lovely to have the beer garden. It is in the middle of Leytonstone but it feels like a garden country pub. I will miss it and I think a lot of others will.

“I would like to see Councillor Chris Robbins hold a public meeting with the locals about this.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We have received a pre-application which will now be considered. The pub is listed as an asset of community value, and this will be an important consideration when determining any application.

“The Council’s Local Plan policy seeks to resist the loss of social infrastructure including pubs and this is supported by a Supplementary Planning Document on Pubs which requires other tests to be satisfied, in particular, whether robust efforts have been made to continue the pub operation.”