Last orders at popular pub

The Jaguar
The Jaguar

Residents in Stapleford have expressed anger and dismay after a prominent pub was controversially shut down.

The Jaguar Pub on Hickings Lane closed its doors for the final time at the end of December after months of rumours regarding the establishment’s future.

Once described by residents as a “a vibrant heartbeat of the community”, the Jaguar had been blighted by declining custom and increasing overheads in recent years.

Richard MacRae, chairman of the Stapleford Community Group, believes there’s still a place for the pub despite these difficulties.

He said: “It’s looking almost impossible but we’ll keep trying to keep this pub in our community.

“The landlord said that the pub was losing money and that there was no option but to close it.

“Instead of shutting it though, he [the landlord Sean Holden] could have put up a sign that said they were looking for new management.

“Someone in this community would have taken it over, I can guarantee that, but they never even offered it to anyone.”

Stapleford North’s MP Anna Soubry contacted Trust Inns, the company that owns the Jaguar, but attempts for a meeting with the public to discuss the future of the pub were unsuccessful.

The site on which the Jaguar sits has now been granted planning permission for a redevelopment project, with construction scheduled to commence early in 2014.

LSP Developments, a property development business, has earmarked the site for the building of new retail units.

Richard believes that the will of the public in Stapleford has been ignored and undermined throughout this saga.

He said: “We’ve not been given a say at all. When there were rumours that a new landlord was taking over the place the pub was busier than it had been in years.

“I like the landlord but the Jaguar has suffered from bad management for the past six years and that seems to have been fatal.

“Shutting the pub down though is not the solution to the problem. It just needs a bit of a refurb and a new owner to offer a fresh input.

“Closing this pub has ripped the heart out of this part of Stapleford, it’s a sad day for our community.”