i drove past a few weeks ago on my way to the water front, i was very put out to see a local land mark has vanished, how did they get planning to knock such a place down ?!!.
Unfortunately, the developer who bought it did not need planning permission to knock it down. As long as the building you own is not listed (and the Great Eastern wasn't - I tried to get it so!) you can knock it down whenever you like. YOU could demolish your own unlisted home tomorrow if you decided to do so. What you need planning permission for is what you build in its place. A totally mad system, if you ask me, but that is the way it works, unfortunately.
The developer knocked the Pub
down because he knew NFRAG were campaigning to keep it. Its a long story, covered elsewhere in threads on this site if you look.