Plans to demolish ‘iconic’ pub dismay campaigners

PUBLISHED: 13:00 18 February 2018

An artist's impression of Tout Ltd's plans for the Lord Nelson. Picture: Tout Ltd

An artist's impression of Tout Ltd's plans for the Lord Nelson. Picture: Tout Ltd

Archant

Demolition plans for a ‘much-loved’ pub have been revealed, with a petrol station and convenience store set to be built in its place.

Cleeve’s Lord Nelson will be razed and replaced with a mixed-use facility, if owner Tout Ltd secures planning permission from North Somerset Council.

Cheddar-based Tout, which operates Budgens stores in Nailsea and Langford, bought the former Hungry Horse eatery from Greene King in December 2016 and hopes to incorporate a pub café, offices and a salon.

Tout’s initial proposals were unveiled to villagers a year ago, and many have launched attempts to prevent demolition since, with one this week calling on the ‘crass idea’ to be thrown away.

The firm believes the design of the building maintains a ‘traditional feel juxtaposed by modern features’.

Its design and access statement added: “This will provide much-needed facilities to locals and road users, as the site has done for many years as a public house, while maintaining traditional characteristics of the village.

“The proposed building has been designed to replicate the style of the existing pub, with integral thought to sustainability.”

But the plans have been met with concern from villagers, with many objecting via the council’s planning portal.

Ian Fergusson, of the campaign to save the pub, described the plans as ‘utter lunacy’.

He said: “The village is committed to preventing demolition of this iconic heritage asset, which is a fundamental part of Cleeve’s historical, cultural and architectural fabric.

“It is a much-loved landmark, perfectly suited for sympathetic conversion.

“It says it all when the owner’s planning heritage impact report states ‘the removal of the pub would result in a total loss of significance for this locally-significant heritage asset’.

“This crazy scheme – driven by greed with no care whatsoever for our village – needs putting into the dustbin of crass ideas.”

A large fence has been put up around the pub for security reasons after reports of fly-tipping. A Tout spokesman said the move came at Cleeve Parish Council’s request, but Mr Fergusson described the fence as ‘a total eyesore’.

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