Useful Info

This is a verbatim text of a briefing paper, the origin of which we would love to know, based on a previous assessment of the OSD  


The site of the former Spotted Dog Public House is located in the London Borough of Newham, on a prominent bend in Upton Lane, just to the south of Forest Gate Town Centre. Forest Gate lies approximately 1.14 miles to the East of Stratford. The site has an area of approximately 1870 sq. m. The building itself is located in the south west corner of the site and occupies approximately one third of the site area. A row of 5 mature lime trees run along the sites western boundary. These trees are all protected by Tree Preservation Orders



The Heritage Asset

The former Spotted Dog is a grade II listed building and the oldest secular building in Newham. 

It is a former halled house with cross wings dating from the 15th century and over a long period has been used as a coaching inn. It is an important and rare survival of a timber framed and weather-boarded building in this area of London. 

There are later phases of building behind the medieval timber framed structures, including a mid 19th century club, and a late 19th century gothic revival house. These phases are also of interest and significant to the history of the site. A number of low grade 20th century extensions partially obscure and detract from the earlier parts of the building. The site surrounding the building has for a considerable time been an open landscape and all early maps show the site as open land related to the building. Early photographs show a garden to the rear. More recently part of the site has been used for car parking.

The building was originally listed in 1967, though the list description was revised in 2010. It concludes that the reasons for its designation are as follows:

Ownership, condition and Council legal actions to date

The building was sold at auction to new owners on 2004. Works were commenced to allow the property to reopen as a restaurant, some without listed building consent.  Following a dispute between the joint owners, all works ceased.  The building has since remained vacant, and has been squatted and vandalised on several occasions.  The theft of metal from the roof, severely exacerbated the damage caused.

The ownership of the building was put into the hands of Administrators BN Jackson Norton on 1st October 2009.  The legal owners of the building are Jademark Ltd, who retains the title absolute on the property as registered with the Land Registry. There is a registered charge on the property title between Jademark Ltd and the Habib Allied International Bank who has an alleged mortgage debt on the building of £1.4 million.

The Council has served numerous Enforcement Notices, Urgent Works Notices and Section 215, Untidy land Notices over the last 4 years. Related Planning applications and appeals have been determined for unauthorised works and minor works to the building.  Prosecution proceedings for non compliance with several Notices have been adjourned upon the advice of Counsel that the public interest would not be well served by attempting to continue with the prosecution. Proceedings could be rescheduled when the ownership of the building is not in Administration.

In 2008, the Council carried out works in default to make the building wind and weathertight and secure, following non compliance with an Urgent Works Notice and has placed a charge on the property of approximately £10,000. Despite these works, the gutters and part of the roof again failed, water ingress occurred, and there are serious signs of dry rot progressing throughout the timber frame parts of the building.”

Repairs Notice

On 26th July 2010 a full Repairs Notice was served setting out in detail all works that are required for the proper preservation of the building. If the notice is not complied with the Council may, after 2 months, commence compulsory purchase proceedings.

As well as setting out clearly the work required to restore the building it was hoped that the Repairs Notice and the threat of a CPO would:

Prompt the administrators to sell the building to a heritage conscious developer;

Discourage the sale of the site at a price based on unrealistic aspirations for developing the site; or

Prompt the administrators to comply with the notice.

As yet the Repairs Notice has not been complied with, nor has it prompted the sale of the building at a realistic price reflecting the condition of the building and the limited development potential. However negotiations and discussions with the administrator have been ongoing and the Council has been successful in encouraging the administrator to:

carry out costly asbestos remediation works that were previously a barrier to temporary repairs to the roof taking place.

Undertake emergency repairs to the roof and rainwater goods to prevent further deterioration of the building.

Clearance of detritus to facilitate the drying out of the building.

Improved ventilation of the building by drilling additional holes in the timber boarding over the windows.

These recent positive actions (carried out in early 2011) have encouraged officers to continue to pursue a dialogue with administrators, in an effort to avoid a potentially time consuming and costly compulsory purchase order at a time when the Council’s budget has become increasingly strained. A pre-application scheme for the restoration of the building with some development on the adjoining land is expected in the near future.

Compulsory purchase remains an option.

Options Appraisal and future repair and reuse

A strategy for the long term repair and reuse of the property has been pursued in conjunction with Heritage of London Trust operations (HOLTop). This would be dependent on the Council acquiring the building either by agreement or through a Compulsory Purchase Order. Ownership would then be immediately transferred to HOLTop through a back-to-back agreement. An Options Appraisal considering future uses and development options for the site has been produced by HOLTop and their architects Butler and Hegarty.

The Options Appraisal concludes that, in the current financial climate and for the medium term foreseeable future (15-20 years), there is only one viable recommended proposal for the Spotted Dog. This is a proposal for the creative demolition of the less historically significant parts of the building, the conversion of the remaining building for residential accommodation and substantial enabling development around the curtilage of the site.

Thus the Council has prepared and is about to serve on the Administrators a Repairs Notice, although it is reserving judgment as to whether this should be followed up with a Compulsory Purchase Order if it is not complied with within two months.

Valuation Exercise

As part of the work towards a potential CPO, the Council has commissioned a Valuation to establish the financial risks involved in acquiring the site.

The conclusions from the Valuation Report are summarised as follows:

i) When subject to the Repairs Notice liability, there would be a conservation deficit of £1.01 million. This means that the cost of restoring the building for its optimum use outweigh the value of the completed project by £1.01 million.

ii) In circumstance such as this when there is a conservation deficit, the value of the site should in theory be negative or zero. There are however, very few circumstances where a vendor will pay a purchaser to acquire a property. The site in its current state has therefore been given a nominal value. This has been indicatively quantified at £50,000.

iii) The residual land value of the enabling development based on HOLTop’s preferred scheme, using base construction costs of £135 per sq ft is £508,000. The overall deficit of the scheme, taking into account the cost of restoration of the listed building, is £502,000

Leave a Reply