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Demolition of Beacon Court Tavern, Gillingham, begins

By Ed McConnell

A popular pub has been consigned to the history books.

Demolition work has begun at the Beacon Court Tavern, on the corner of Canterbury Street and Copenhagen Road, Gillingham.

It's destined to become flats after closing almost three years ago and being sold at auction for £370,000.

The Beacon Court Tavern
The Beacon Court Tavern
The Beacon Court pub is being demolished Picture: Steve Crispe. (7814597)
The Beacon Court pub is being demolished Picture: Steve Crispe. (7814597)

A well-known live music venue, the establishment has become too costly to run when it poured its last pint in June 2016.

It had only opened again that five months earlier, with new owners vowing to put it back on the gigging map.

The pub was built in the 1860s Picture: Steve Crispe (7814603)
The pub was built in the 1860s Picture: Steve Crispe (7814603)
The Beacon Court pub, Canterbury Street, Gillingham..Pub being demolished..Picture: Steve Crispe. (7814603)
The Beacon Court pub, Canterbury Street, Gillingham..Pub being demolished..Picture: Steve Crispe. (7814603)

Medway Council gave developer Darren Turner the nod to knock down the boozer and build three one-bedroom and six two-bedroom flats in its place in October 2018 following an appeal.

The curved front of the original building will be retained and nine parking spaces will also be created.

The application had initially been refused the previous October due to concerns regarding the effect it would have on the area's character and the privacy of neighbours.

The planning application stated: “We feel that the scheme has many positive attributes. It retains the best feature of the original building and compliments it with a residential building of good quality.

"The scheme is self-sufficient in terms of parking and should have minimal impact on street parking numbers.

“The resulting proposal will help liven up the street scene and the development will help to fulfil a need, both national and local, for new housing.”

The Beacon was built in the 1860s as part of a planned housing development along Trafalgar Street, Copenhagen Road and part of Gillingham Road.

At the other end of Gillingham Road the Fleur-de-lis pub was built and remains open today.

It gets its name from the former name of this part of Canterbury Street - Beacon Court Lane - which in turn took its name from the nearby 16th century beacon built to warn of invasion.

Do you remember The Beacon? Email medway@thekmgroup.co.uk

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