A DISUSED pub which has become a beacon for crime and anti-social behaviour will be bought by the council and redeveloped.
The Malvern, in Malvern Way, has been closed for several years. Neighbours complain it has dragged down the area with graffiti, vandalism, drug use and even arson attacks in and around the site.
Now Cllr Mike Turner has persuaded Hastings Borough Council to slap a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on the site, and the authority plans to work with Amicus Horizon to turn the dilapidated pub into social housing.
Angie Sherry, 31, who lives just down the road from The Malvern, was delighted. “It has been an absolute nightmare living near it and I cannot wait to see the thing gone,” she said.
“The area is full of drug needles and there is broken glass everywhere. It attracts young kids who go there and cause trouble. I have three kids and won’t let them anywhere near it. We have waited far too long for something to be done.”
Cllr Turner promised to sort out the pub when he got elected last May and is pleased he is now able to deliver on his election promise.
“It is a complete and utter mess and we cannot tolerate its impact on this community any more,” he said. “It has dragged down not only this area but the entire ward - the police are sick of it because they are called here all the time and the residents are sick of it too. We have all had enough.”
Cllr Turner said a recent clean-up operation around the pub had cost £1,000 and taken two days. He said swastikas had been spray painted on walls and a manhole cover ripped out of the ground.
“It was like something from a Dickens novel with kids running about in the drains,” he added.
“I made a pledge to the residents of Baird that I would do my uppermost to make the ward a nice and safe place in which to live. This initiative is yet another step in that process and I have got my eye on some other areas as well.”
Cllr Turner paid tribute to Cllrs Jeremy Birch and Peter Chowney for backing his plans and making the redevelopment of the pub one of the council’s priorities for the year ahead.