Work began on demolishing a popular north-east London pub to make way for new homes five years ago this week.

Bulldozers have begun tearing down a beloved pub to make way for a block of flats.

The former Royston Arms, in Chingford Mount Road, was closed in September 2014, but it has taken 28 months for developers to finally bring it down.

New York Developments Ltd got planning approval from the council in July, last year, but the bulldozers only started demolishing the boozer towards the end of last week.

Remembering fonder times in the pub’s 1970s heydays, is Marian Teskey, 74, who served punters more than 40 years ago.

Mrs Teskey said times were hard, living nearby in Bateman Road, with two young children and a mortgage to pay.

But working in the Royston Arms was the only time she could get out the house to talk to people as her husband worked long hours to make ends meet.

She added: “I remember on Tuesdays we used to get an influx of customers who called in on their way back from the dog races at Walthamstow Stadium. If they had a good win they would give us good cash tips.

“It's such a shame that such a great pub has to be pulled down to build flats. Much like the dog track where I also worked on the Tote for many years.”

The plans for the pub will transform it into a four-storey block of 22 flats with shops on the ground floor on the half-acre site.

At the time, more than 300 residents signed a petition against the plans complaining about the “loss of privacy” by the flats, which will be two storeys taller than its surrounding buildings.

In the same plans approved by the council, only nine per cent of the total build are classed as ‘affordable’.

This is despite the council’s core planning strategy to provide 50 per cent affordable housing on all new residential builds.

With only 19 parking spaces laid out in the plans, some people are concerned it will put pressure on the already limited parking in the area.

Jo Copsey added: “Flats there and flats at the dog track, but where are the new schools, surgeries, or extra trains?

“It makes me so angry, too many people and not enough thought put into it.”

In October 2014, it was reportedly sold to a Chigwell family for more than £2million after the Chingford Islamic Society told the Guardian it was outbid with its £2.2m offer.

Kept in limbo for years while waiting for its development, people living nearby have seen the “appalling eyesore” become a temporary jumble yard to an unofficial carpark.