A bid to reopen a Rainham pub and build a block of flats to its rear has been rejected by Havering Council.

A planning application was submitted earlier this year by Richard Gillanders seeking consent to reopen The Bell Inn, demolish a garage to its rear, and build a three-storey residential block containing eight new flats between one and three bedrooms.

It became the second such application to fail, after a similar scheme at the site was also denied planning permission in 2022.

The pub has been closed since 2017, when its licence was revoked on police advice after a man was allegedly attacked by a group with a cosh before being stabbed with a samurai sword.

In documents submitted with the latest planning application, the applicant had argued that concerns with the previous proposal had been addressed.

In the planning statement, the applicant said: "As a basic principle the site is a sustainable one within the urban area and provides residents with a good quality living environment and good access to shops and services, public transport infrastructure, and entertainment facilities."

The applicant added that "there is a need for additional housing" in the area.

But planning officers decided to refuse permission for the development, issuing their ruling on June 7.

In their report, officers argued the flats would be "overbearing" on the locally listed pub, believed to have been built in the eighteenth century.

They said the plan "would harm the setting" of the nearby Grade I listed Church of St Helen and St Giles, thought to be the oldest building in Havering.

Officers added that the flats would "appear incongruous, unduly dominant, and visually intrusive."

They also criticised the lack of accessibility in the designs. Their report said: "The proposed development does not provide a lift and therefore fails to achieve the highest standards of accessible and inclusive design."

The report continued: "There is no ramp or level access to the communal amenity space and the poor access arrangements would be harmful to the amenity of future occupiers."

A petrol station near the site was also highlighted as a potential threat to the amenity of the building's future residents as it would "result in unacceptable noise levels" for first and second floor flats.