Former Margate pub The Orb has been demolished today (November 10) to make way for 12 flats and 2 maisonettes.
The Orb closed in 2017. The Shepherd Neame boozer on Ramsgate Road was sold despite only being taken over by new managers a few months before, The pub freehold was being marketed for £225,000.
Thanet council approved the plans in August despite outrage from Margate Civic Society who said: “The existing structure has graced the site for almost 200 years and deserves better than this.”
The pub, which was called The Crown and Sceptre up until 1962, has landlords listed dating back to 1839 but is also believed to occupy the site of the oldest hostelry in Margate, dating from the 15th century.
Margate Civic Society lodged a strongly worded objection to the demolition, saying: “We are utterly opposed to the obliteration from the landscape of this iconic and much loved local historic landmark.
“The only motive that supports the proposal derives from maximising profit from the site at the expense of local history and this must be rejected at all costs. We only get one opportunity to preserve local history and a rejection of this proposal would reflect the esteem in which we hold this building.”
The society said the site should have been sold to a developer who would “recognise the benefits of retaining and converting/extending this asset to provide a more modest return on investment.”
Thanet council’s conservation officers said: “Although the Inn is of some established local significance and developmental history, there is in fact reduced intrinsic heritage value that remains within the property.”
The officer says a report by Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) details the development of the site alongside factual evidence that exists through maps, images and locally sourced information. The property is not listed.
They add: “ I believe it to be true this is a site that may have once housed a building which may have been of more historical significance had it not been lost within the development of itself through time.
“Unfortunately little to none remains of its character internally with the main somewhat ‘original’, but largely replaced and repaired, front façade resulting in a feature common and perhaps better portrayed elsewhere in Margate.”