A PUB which has stood vacant for eight years and seen numerous battles over its future will finally be demolished.

Last week, a Lewisham Council planning committee approved plans by Phoenix Community Housing to knock down Catford’s Green Man pub.

Taking the Bromley Road building’s place will be the association’s two-floor headquarters.

Secretary of Southend Residents Association John Grosvenor, who has spoken out about the loss of the area’s pubs, said afterwards: “We’re disappointed about the demolition.

“It’s a landmark and one of those buildings people recognise and talk about.

“There’s still an issue with parking. Phoenix will be bringing in lots of staff but there’s minimal parking provision.

“But this is an investment in the area and will provide jobs for people, so there are a few plus points.”

The ground floor will become a ‘community hub’ including a café, credit union, small business units and public space.

News Shopper: Minty Challis and her dog are evicted from the Green Man pub following their six-week stay	LC5488

Also onsite will be a ‘barn’ building capable of providing community events, lectures, performances, exhibitions and film screenings.

Phoenix chief executive Jim Ripley said: “We’ll make the most of this location by creating a social hub for our community that will deliver many, and more, of the benefits of an old style community pub.

“This includes plans to set up a training restaurant which builds on a public house’s social legacy and brings opportunities for sharing training, employment and good food in a community setting.”

Work is set to start in the new year and scheduled for completion in 2013.

The pub has been vacant since 2003, when a first application to redevelop the building into high-rise flats was made.

There followed a long-running dispute over its fate, including a public inquiry and sit-in by campaigner Minty Challis – more recently seen clutching a crucifix at the Dale Farm travellers’ site protest.