Call to bring back White Hart

September 24, 2009 10:35 PM
By Sophie Edwards in Brentwood Weekly News

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to turn the Sugar Hut back into a pub after fire nearly devastated the historic building.

Liberal Democrat councillor Karen Chilvers is leading the campaign, which wants to see the High Street nightspot returned to its former use, as the White Hart, after fire gutted part of the building last weekend.

Ms Chilvers said she has spoken to around 30 residents, and received many emails and messages on social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, supporting her proposal.

She has since written to The Sugar Hut Group asking them to consider reopening as the White Hart.

She said: "Many people now consider this to be the opportune time to look again at the building and try to restore it to how it once was.

"It is an important part of Brentwood's history, character and heritage dating back to at least 1480, and its original features should be restored."

The 500-year-old Grade II listed building was transformed into the Sugar Hut, a nightclub, bar and restaurant popular with celebrities, in 2004.

Rises in alcohol-fuelled crime in the High Street are also behind calls to scrap the club.

Council leader Cllr Louise McKinlay said this was something the council was looking to improve.

She said: "I understand the sentiment behind the calls, but the council cannot start telling a business what format it should take.

"As a council we are looking at making the High Street a far more family friendly place where people can feel safe at night.

"At the moment they don't feel comfortable and we plan to lobby the Government to give us local authorities the powers to change that."