The erection of the fence surrounding the pub’s beer garden, made of wooden planks, came as a shock to local residents. The beer garden was used for 15 years
(Image: MyLondon/BPM Media)
A former pub owner allegedly built a giant fence around the beer garden after being told to leave by the brewery.
Tony O’Neill had leased The Plow in East Sheen, Richmond, for 10 years, but Fuller’s brewery had wanted the pub back in their hands since last November.
At the time, it was said that the handover was anything but “quick and smooth”.
My London has previously reported that Mr O’Neill had “stripped” the pub’s kitchen and removed all the furniture and fittings when he left.
He also took his team to take over a new pub and Fuller’s has since refurbished The Plow.
However, it has since emerged that the former landlord vacated The Plow building himself but has now erected a fence around the beer garden.
Richmond Council says it is blocking a public footpath, which Mr O’Neill denies.
He declined to comment on the situation, but confirmed that boarding had been set up and that Fuller’s did not have access to it.
When asked if he put up the fence, Mr O’Neill declined to comment further.
Fuller’s is reportedly unable to obtain a fire certificate for the premises as only one entry/exit is available for potential customers and employees.
A source close to the pub and the former landlord, who asked not to be named, told MyLondon that the area outside the pub, which has been used as a beer garden for 15 years, has now been boarded up.
The construction of the wooden plank fence came as a shock to local residents, who told MyLondon they knew nothing about it.
A spokeswoman for Richmond Council confirmed that Mr O’Neil does not own the land adjacent to the pub.
She said: “Mr O’Neill has been in dispute with Fullers Brewery, which owns The Plow Land which is believed to be part of the public road.
“Mr O’Neill’s erection of the billboards violates planning control and impedes public roads. The Council has issued a planning enforcement order to Mr O’Neill to remove the billboards by April 7th. If the billboards are not removed by April 7th, the Council is likely to default on them.”
The council added that Mr O’Neill disputes the fact that the boarding obstructs public footpath. It said: “It is not lawful to block the public road, whether or not it blocks access to property.”
Government guidance states: “Where the land was previously open ground the fencing is strong evidence of actual ownership, but it is neither indispensable nor conclusive.” This means a wall like those showing outside The Plow could mean a squatter occupied the land, but it doesn’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt either – and since it’s new it could damage O’Neill’s claim.
The council is understood to plan to forcibly remove the fence next month as a legal battle continues.
Tony O’Neill lives just 300 meters from the pub and is fighting for the land on the site, which the pub used to be part of the community, our source tells us.
Fuller’s brewery confirmed the country was contested but said it was a council matter to be resolved by April 7.
A spokesman said: “To this end we have started work on the pub today [Monday, March 21] and we can’t wait to open the pub and welcome back to the local community.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pub-landlord-builds-giant-fence-26536437 The pub's landlord builds a giant fence blocking the beer garden after the brewery asks him to leave