Lord Nelson owner axes plan for 24/7 village petrol station

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 - Credit: Archant

Round-the-clock refuelling will not take place at the site of Cleeve’s Lord Nelson if it is demolished after council officers raised concerns.

Tout Ltd hopes to demolish the empty pub, in Main Road, in favour of building a multi-use complex which would include a petrol station, convenience store, pub-café and offices.

But it has failed to convince North Somerset Council to grant planning permission, forcing it go do back to the drawing board and change its proposals.

Tout Ltd bought the pub from Greene King two years ago and it has been gathering dust since.

It submitted a planning application in 2018, angering villagers who fear the loss of a community asset and the negative impact on the village.

But the council’s planning officers were not sold on the blueprints, and told Tout the application would be refused without significant changes.

Jon Tout, Tout Ltd’s managing director of Tout Ltd, said: “Over the past 13 months we’ve been working closely with planning officers on addressing some of the key issues and aspirations linked to our application, particularly the operation of the pub-café and the layout of the convenience store.

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“Sadly, it looks like we are going to have to reduce the amount of space we wanted for the company offices and training suite. We have also decided not to run the petrol forecourt on a 24-hour basis.

“This means we need to make some design revisions to the layout in the new year.”

The plan has been met with opposition from the Friends Nelson Group, which hopes to save the building from bulldozers.

Member Ian Fergusson is unhappy Tout Ltd has been allowed to revise its plans, rather than submit a new application.

He said: “We are bemused. Clearly the application is set for refusal unless modified in a major way, which by definition must mean a new application.

“The applicant insisted without 24-hour filling station operation, the entire project will be shelved. To now indicate otherwise is strange, but makes no odds – even 24 milliseconds of filling station operation on this site is wholly unacceptable to residents. That part of the plan must be dropped.

“We hope the applicant pursues a scheme which preserves and sensitively converts the building to house a convenience store, salons, pub-café and office space. This seems a reasonable compromise.”