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The Mill pub, in Sturry Road, Canterbury, to be sold at auction

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A former Canterbury pub branded "impossible" to operate due to its reputation for crime is to be sold off at auction.

The Mill in Sturry Road has stood empty for three years, and now its newest owners are looking to sell up.

The old pub has been shut since 2019
The old pub has been shut since 2019

Formerly known as Waterloo Tavern, Saxby’s and the Run of the Mill, the pub is said to have become unviable when police ordered bosses to employ security staff every night to deal with petty crime and anti-social behaviour.

It closed its doors in 2019 - the same year a cannabis factory was uncovered at the property - and was later put on the market.

The site was sold at a cut price to new owners in autumn 2020, and Chatham-based firm Marcoz Properties & Developments Ltd lodged a bid to convert the pub into two flats.

A year after being submitted, the planning application remains undecided by the city council.

However, rather than awaiting the outcome of the application, the current owners want to sell the property, which used to be a popular haunt with soldiers from the old Army barracks.

Plans to turn the site into two flats remain undecided
Plans to turn the site into two flats remain undecided

They are hoping to pocket at least £300,000 when the pub goes under the hammer at a Clive Emson auction on Wednesday, February 9.

Planning documents attached to the ongoing bid to turn the site into housing claim it would make no financial sense to bring the inn back into use.

"Rather than being a force for good and positive service within the community, the pub has had the opposite influence and the police have effectively forced it into closure," it reads.

"It has been the focus of a degree of petty crime and anti-social behaviour, which has made it impossible for operators to succeed."

As well as the site's reputation, the impending launch of the £115 million leisure complex at nearby Kingsmead has been blamed as one of the reasons why it has no future as a pub.

Auctioneer Kevin Gilbert said: “This represents a fine opportunity and there is great potential in this former pub.”

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