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Foxtons frustrated by latest twist in pub-office saga

The long running story of the south London pub which Foxtons wants to convert to a new office has taken another twist - now the local council has declared the building “a community asset” which effectively means it cannot be used by the agency.

Back in April the Elephant & Castle pub in - of course - Elephant & Castle , was targetted by a Foxtons planning application naming it as its next branch. The pub closed early this year after a stabbing incident and Foxtons has since applied to change its use. 

Because of the pub’s pedigree, being 250 years old, the local Southwark council had the chance if it so wished to declare it a community asset. 


“We’re really excited at the prospect of opening an office right in the heart of Elephant & Castle. We’ve been operating in the area for years now from our nearby London Bridge office and in the last year alone we’ve dealt with hundreds of properties and people there,” a spokesperson for Foxtons told Estate Agent Today. 

However, local housing campaigner Piers Corbyn - brother of Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn - told the Evening Standard that the plan to turn it into an estate agency was another example of “the disgraceful events taking place in Southwark.”

Last week Foxtons’ woes increased as the pub was squatted by anti-Foxtons campaigners . They erected posters on the pub including one saying ‘Listen up Foxtons, this 250 year old pub does not belong to you!’ and another saying ‘**** Foxtons’.

Now it appears the campaigners have won, although the group claiming credit for the council’s decision is conservation body the Walworth Society. 

A spokeswoman for the society is quoted as saying: “The Elephant, Walworth and the Old Kent Road used to host around 200 public houses serving the local community and hosting their social events as well as welcoming people passing through our area. There are now less than 20 pubs left so we need to safeguard these to allow them to become pubs and entertainment places for the future.”

  • Karl Knipe

    I think this is the right decision, but now it's been classified as a community asset I'd like to see it used as such. There was a reason the pub was closed down in the first place - a stabbing, I believe - so more needs to be done to make the area safe and turn the building into a place people want to visit, whether that is a pub, a community centre, a cafe or housing.

  • Anna  Dickson

    Finally someone has said "no" to Foxtons, and I for one am pleased with the decision. London is fast disintegrating into a hub for wealthy estate agents, so this decision is a step in the right direction to preserve some of the capital's community spirit. Wonder what Foxtons will have to say in response?

  • Daniel Roder

    Can't say I feel too much sympathy for them. In fact, I'm very pleased with this news. Shows Foxtons they can't just push their weight around and expand wherever they want.

    They won't learn, though. They'll continue to expand and they'll continue to face local opposition. They really are the estate agents everyone loves to hate, but enough people are using them to ensure they revel in that. They wear their obnoxiousness as a badge of honour.

  • Fake Agent

    One in the eye for Foxtons. And well-deserved, too.

    But it won't slow down their ridiculous expansion plans, it'll only motivate them to do it at a faster rate. They don't have much regard for heritage or community, they only have one main goal - profit, profit, profit, profit.

    The only hope is that their brand becomes so toxic that people finally stop using them. We can but live in hope.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    A real fist pump moment for the local London community, I would assume. Elephant & Castle may have escaped Foxtons, but this will only mean they'll spring up in another dozen locations elsewhere. A small victory for the locals none the less.

  • J Mark Dodds

    I'm a local licensee and know the area well. The last thing the immediate vicinity needs is a Foxton's. The Elephant and Castle has enormous potential as ... A PUB! It is in a fantastic, high footfall location. People dismissing the pub as a bad place that deserves change of use because of past problems are just plain wrong. There's nothing wrong with the area and the potential customer base at all but the pub has been poorly managed for years. Poor pub management leads to poor behaviour among customers and the kind of history this venue has seen. The pub itself is genuinely iconic because of its remarkable heritage and as a modern building could easily be made to be an iconic example of its own architectural style. Its' a marvellous opportunity to prove that well run pubs, properly invested with good products and service have vibrant, financially sustainable futures ahead of them.


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