PUNTERS are outraged that a "landmark" community pub in Eltham is being eyed up by fast-food giants McDonald's.

Plans for "community hub" the Dutch House pub, in Sidcup Road, to be turned into a drive-thru McDonald's were submitted to Greenwich Council last month.

There are already seven of the burger joint outlets in five km and protesters say losing this popular pub to the chain would be "selling out".

Pub regular Andy Burrowes, who lives on the nearby Horn Park estate and has rounded up 420 signatures against the proposal, told News Shopper: "It is a local pub and young and old, black and white mix together from the housing estate – you are going to lose that for starters.

"I have been drinking here a long time, I get work as a carpenter.

"It is very community centred. It is the hub of the community."

The 45-year-old carpenter added: "If McDonald's get planning permission we are going to be surrounded by McDonald's and this pub was built for the estate."

The "welcoming" atmosphere of the pub means it is also a favourite for adults with learning disabilities.

Alan Brown, who leads a weekly trip to the pub, said: "We are not going to allow this [the closure] to happen.

"I take adults with learning disabilities to the Dutch House – they make us more than welcome.

"They make it special."

South east London Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) have backed the campaign and say it would be an "absolute crime" for the application to be pushed through.

CAMRA pub protection officer Neil Pettigrew told News Shopper: "It would be an absolute crime if this pub gets turned into a McDonald's.

"It’s a major landmark and a beautiful building.

"If the owners want to dispose of it, they should make it a pub and give someone else an opportunity to run it.

"They should not sell out to McDonald's.

"Selling out to a fast-food restaurant should only be a last resort, however the pub is thriving and financially viable."

It comes as boozers in the area are taking a knocking with nearby watering hole The Porcupine in Mottingham set for demolition after it was bought by Lidl.

Eltham MP Clive Efford says he is concerned about the loss of pubs in the area and raises issues including the impact of a poor diet on a deprived area, concern for children at nearby Middle Park Primary School, and increased traffic around Mottingham Lane.

He said: "The loss of the pub represents a loss of local amenity and we have lost far too many. I want to see more action taken to protect them. They are part of our culture and heritage.

"As much as I would welcome the jobs, the location of McDonald's is inappropriate here.

"There are inappropriate health issues relating to McDonald's – there is a primary school on the estate.

"I would also be concerned about accidents on that section of the road."


A spokesperson for Stonegate Pub Company, which leases the Dutch House, said: "The Company is currently under contract to assign this lease to McDonald's, subject to planning approval.

"There is no confirmed timetable for the conclusion of this process. The pub remains open and trading as usual with a busy bank holiday weekend planned with a car boot fair at the pub on Saturday.”

A spokesman for McDonald's said: "A new McDonald’s would bring investment to the area and provide 65 full and part-time jobs for the community.

We are excited about the prospect of investing in Eltham and are working with the Council on our plans."

To view the planning application and leave a comment click here.