Pub's future in doubt again after sale to unknown buyer

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:48 11 September 2017

Hundreds have campaigned to save the Bristol House in the past.

Hundreds have campaigned to save the Bristol House in the past.

Archant

The future of a Weston pub is once again in doubt after it was recently sold to an unknown buyer.

The Bristol House, in Milton Road, has endured a turbulent past, with campaigners twice fighting off proposed supermarket conversions – by Tesco and the Co-operative respectively.

But former owners Enterprise Inns have now offloaded the pub, leaving regulars concerned for the future of the Bristol House.

The property was due to be sold at auction today (Thursday), with a guide price of £285,000, but the lot was withdrawn and a private sale of the freehold has been agreed. The buyer and cost remains unknown, and the pub is currently closed.

Enterprise Inns told the Mercury the deal is still waiting for final approval, and the new owner cannot be revealed until it is granted.

The saga began in 2013 when Tesco’s attempts to open a convenience store were scuppered after 3,000-strong petition to protect the pub was submitted to North Somerset Council.

The council deemed the pub was an asset of community value, ruling out a supermarket conversion without planning permission – and the Tesco plans were thrown out.

And when the Co-op’s plans for the pub were torn up on the same grounds by the council in 2016, campaigners breathed a sigh of relief hoping their watering hole would remain.

The Save The Bristol House Campaign was shortlisted for the Campaign For Real Ale’s (CAMRA) first ever pub-saving award in December.

But Enterprise Inns later confirmed to the Mercury it was considering selling the pub after the failed conversion attempts.

An Enterprise Inns spokesman said: “As part of our on-going business, we do from time to time identify a pub that may no longer have a long-term future in our estate.

“After careful consideration, the decision was made to sell the freehold of the Bristol House, Weston and a sale has recently been contracted.”

Mark Thyer, of the campaign, told the Mercury he would be ‘delighted’ if the pub reopened under the new owners.

Mr Thyer added he hopes the Bristol House can attract regulars and new patrons with ‘attractive pricing and food’ to make it a vibrant pub again.

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