Site of pub torn down without permission faced with fires, flytipping and unauthorised travellers

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Troubling times: The former site of the Royal Oak has recently fallen victim to fires and flytipping
Troubling times: The former site of the Royal Oak has recently fallen victim to fires and flytipping

Related tags Mole Valley District Council

Since the unauthorised demolition of a pub in Leatherhead, Surrey, the site has fallen victim to multiple piles of burning waste, flytipping and occupation by unauthorised travellers.

Last month campaigners wishing to save their pub, the Royal Oak in Kingston Road, were distraught after it was torn down without planning permission​.

Since then, Surrey's Fire and Rescue Service has been called on at least two occasions to piles of burning waste at the site, which the Environment Agency is investigating. Following this, around 25 vehicles owned by travellers parked there over the weekend of 16-17 December.

Sam Syrett, 34, of nearby Ryelands Court, told local news website Get Surrey​: "We are aware that more travellers arrived last night (Sunday, 17 December) and there was noise until 3am, which is just so inconsiderate.

"I can see from my window that more have arrived although I can't see all of the site.

"We could hear dogs barking all night long and the generators going. I've got three young children so it's not what you want. I couldn't get any sleep."

Mole Valley Police confirmed on Wednesday 20 December, however, that the travellers had "got the hint" and left the site "leaving behind a mess".

Along with the tweet was a video of at least three large mounds of rubbish in the middle of the derelict site.


At the beginning of the week, a spokesperson for Mole Valley District Council said of the situation: "Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is continuing to work with its partners regarding the unauthorised traveller incursion at the Royal Oak public house site in Leatherhead.

"All partners, including Surrey Police, the Environment Agency and Surrey's Fire and Rescue Service have a shared understanding of the current situation at the site, and activity there continues to be monitored.

"MVDC has continued to liaise with the landowner, and has offered advice and guidance regarding the situation.

"MVDC is considering options that may be available to better control activity at the site."

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