A LANDLORD forced to close his pub has said Croydon's watering holes cannot be saved because of low Wetherspoon prices and supermarket deals.
Michael Weeden has been a publican since he was 18 and freeholder at the Stag and Hounds, on Selsdon Road in South Croydon, for two years.
But he has submitted a planning application to demolish the tavern and build a three storey building of 12 one bedroom flats and a pair of four bedroom semi-detached houses on the land.
"The pub game is dying," said Mr Weeden. "Nothing can be done to save the pubs in Croydon.
"There are not enough customers. Out of the whole road only one elderly gentleman drinks in here.
"We can't compete with Wetherspoon pubs and supermarket deals and the younger generation don't have the drinking ethics we had."
Mr Weeden has invested personal money in the Stag and Hounds to keep it going but with more work needed he cannot afford to carry on.
"I'm not happy about it," he added.
The Advertiser reported in August that in past years 46 pubs have closed in Croydon. Steve O'Connell, Greater London Assembly member, is so concerned he published a report, Keeping Local, last year on how to save London's taverns and make them into 'community resources'.
"There are too many pubs closing down," said Councillor O'Connell. "The Stag and Hounds is a real heritage pub and a real place in the community.
"In isolation it's just one pub but there is a cumulative effect."
If the application is approved the Stag and Hounds will close soon after Christmas and become one of nine tavern to shut their doors without replacement in London each week.
Clive Thomas, a South Croydon resident, raised concerns about how losing the Stag and Hounds will impact Selsdon Road at a South Croydon Community Association meeting.
He said: "It is a very old structure and part of Croydon. If we start allowing these properties to be demolished what will stop everything else in Croydon being turned into residential houses, and we'll have a road of flats."
The application has received over 30 objections, including from Cllr O'Connell.
Mr Weeden said: "Residents are worried about parking spaces. We've allowed anyone who lives here to park in our carpark which will now stop. None of the people in the street come in here."
He added that no residents have raised concerns about the application with him.