The owner of a pub facing demolition for housing says he agrees the pub would be “a wonderful place” for the community.
Chaim Rubin, who owns the Antwerp Arms through Hinterwill Ltd, today said he regrets having to turn down a campaign group's bid to buy the pub - but hopes something can come of their work.
The Antwerp Arms Association had their offer £275,000 rejected by Mr Rubin, who said that the pub is worth a lot more.
Tottenham MP David Lammy last week said that Mr Rubin’s approach felt like “extortion of the community”, while the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust has urged fans to help the pub.
Mr Rubin, who was not aware of extent of the support for the pub, said that he agrees with Mr Lammy.
He said: “I know what Mr Lammy means, and I do actually agree with him. It makes me sound creepy because I’m looking at this from a business point of view. I just have to do that.
“The pub would be a wonderful place for the community, it really would. Have you seen it? It’s beautiful. But I can’t sell it for the amount they’ve offered me. I bought it for much more.”
The developer added: “I’m really happy to sit around the table and talk with them again. I’ve always been willing to sell it for less than its value and I’m a man of my word. I wouldn’t go back on that.”
Mr Rubin is now applying for planning permission to convert the pub into two houses or four flats, depending on the advice of an architect.
He said the £275,000 offered by the Antwerp Arms Association did not reflect his view of the building.
He said: “I saw this coming. The group wrote to me and said they were having it valued as a retail business.
“I wrote to them straight away and said that I wasn’t selling it as a pub. I didn’t buy it as a pub, I don’t even have a licence for that. I bought it as property.
“I had to offer the property to them before applying for planning permission, which I did not mind at all.
"But I can now go ahead and apply for planning permission because they’ve had their six months, although the planning officer might refuse to give it to me because he doesn’t like what I’m doing, that’s a possibility.”
Mr Rubin added: “I hope something can come out of this still. They’ve certainly done well to get to £275,000, that’s certainly a lot of money.”