Concerns over illegal immigrant squatters and car sales at Burn Bullock pub in Mitcham
Concerns about the future of the historic Burn Bullock pub have been raised after illegal immigrants were discovered squatting there.
The historic Burn Bullock pub in London Road, Mitcham, was closed by police in September 2009 after a string of different managers failed to curb anti-social behaviour.
The final straw was when the pub was caught with unqualified staff running the bar.
A joint operation between groups including the Border Agency, Police, Merton Council and Social Services raided the listed pub on Friday, March 14 and found people living there without permission.
As part of the unannounced raid, a 35-year-old Romanian man was picked up by immigration authorities and now has to report to the Home Office with proof he is working in the UK.
The inspection found the upper floors of the pub were being used as a ‘house in multiple occupation’ and the legal status of the residents is under investigation by the Home Office.
Concerns about a car sales business being run from the car park at the back of the pub have also been raised.
A planning application for the sale of cars is due to be submitted to Merton Council shortly.
Cricket Green ward Councillor Ian Munn said the Tudor building is deteriorating significantly because of the people living in it and the car sales business, which uses ancient parts of the building as offices.
Coun Munn said: "It needs to be restored.
"If possible I would like to see it brought back into use.
"It would probably cost a £250,000 for the repairs."
Sandra Vogel, a trustee of Mitcham Cricket Green Community and Heritage, said: "Local people are concerned about the future of the Burn Bullock.
"There is an immediate issue with the use of the car park for car sales without permission.
"It is not a nice thing to look at - the Cricket Green is a tranquil and peaceful space and a car lot doesn’t help that atmosphere."
A council document stated that due to the failure by the landlord to carry out the essential repairs, enforcement action is under way and would involve the issuing of a Listed Building Repairs Notice.
It went on to state a new complaint regarding the unauthorised sale of cars from the site is under investigation.
The Burn Bullock is named after a cricketer of the same name who played for Surrey and Mitcham clubs.
He was the landlord of the Kings Arms from 1941 to 1954 before it was renamed after him in 1975.
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