A campaign group has called for the council to reconsider plans to bulldoze a historic pub to make way for student accommodation.

But the council says the need for housing outweighs its heritage status.

The Valentine pub in Perth Road, Gants Hill, built in 1930, has been vacant since it was closed in 2017.

Redbridge Council granted planning permission to demolish the building last month; plans to build a 10 storey 321-room student block on the site are awaiting council approval.

Campaign group, Save the Val, has called for the council to save the building so it can be reopened as a public house “for future generations”

Over 200 residents have signed a petition backing the campaign.

Ilford resident, Paul Scott, a supporter of the campaign, called for the council to commit to “actively saving more of our historic, social and cultural venues.”

He said: “There ought to be a policy of keeping them for the general benefit of the many local residents.

“Groups such as Save The Valentine are rightly campaigning to prevent valuable heritage assets being lost to Gants Hill. Even the new London Plan has stated that pubs, clubs as well as music and film venues need more legal protection from demolition.”

Policy HC7 of the London Plan calls for councils to protect public houses where they have a “heritage, economic, social or cultural value to local communities”.

A spokesperson for the council said: “During its decision making process, planning committee members considered a report that looked at the heritage and use made of The Valentine.

“Although the former pub has some local heritage interest, it is not statutorily listed or in a conservation area.

“Given its dilapidated state for over two years, low likelihood of reuse as a pub, and with a proposal for a type of residential use that could help meet the borough’s demand for housing, the benefits of the scheme outweighed its heritage status.

“Redbridge, like many other London boroughs is facing a housing crisis with residents struggling with the impact of austerity, private sector rents and benefit changes.

"The proposal to redevelop The Valentine for affordable student accommodation will help free up current housing stock where students reside, which means those properties can then be used to help with housing targets for the borough that are urgently needing to be met.”

Council documents say “numerous works” have been undertaken to secure the site of the pub from incursions in response to “neighbours requesting a police presence at the site”.

The documents state: “The site makes no contribution to the town centre it forms part of, being boarded up and of some concern to the local police and community safety team as it is attracting criminal behaviour.”