A BMW driver lost control of his car and crashed through the front of a pub yesterday, missing one lucky builder by just a metre.

Just after noon yesterday a man in his 50s, who was not speeding, drove through the front of the Royal Oak pub, at the junction of Ham Street and Sandy Lane in Ham.

It was being refurbished, and was due to open in two weeks. It will now be closed for several months, police said.

The car first ricocheted into a wall, and then accelerated as the driver turned the wheel, ploughing through the building’s façade.

A builder had been repairing a plug socket just a metre to the left of where the BMW crashed through the pub.

The driver was taken to hospital as a precaution, and released later that day. There were no injuries and the driver was not charged.

PS Paul Dowsett said: "There was a lot of damage. We called structural engineers to the scene and they told us the pub has sustained structural damage. It was deemed unsafe.

"We spoke to the owner - he was not too happy but these things happen."

Ham Street and Sandy Lane were closed until 10.30pm.