Controversial inn to close its doors after publican quits

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 June 2013

Bristol House Pub, Milton Road.

Bristol House Pub, Milton Road.

Archant

WESTON'S 70-year-old Bristol House pub will close its doors for the final time this week.

Enterprise Inns, which owns the Milton Road watering hole, has confirmed to the Mercury that the building will close, following the publican’s decision to cease trading.

This result comes hot on the heels of the company’s decision to appeal against North Somerset Council’s decision to refuse planning permission to expand the pub.

Enterprise submitted a plan to extend the building by a single storey last year, but the application was attacked as a ‘Trojan horse’ designed to attract supermarket giant Tesco to buy the venue and transform into an Express store.

A mass protest from regulars – amounting to a 3,000 signature campaign – saw councillors reject the bid.

The Bristol House was reopened in December and a new landlord was appointed, but the building is again facing an uncertain future, as it will serve its last drinks on Sunday.

A spokesman from Enterprise Inns said: “Enterprise confirms that The Bristol House is due to close this week following the publican’s decision to cease trading.

“We have been working hard with the publican to improve the pub but we believe, and recent trading figures demonstrate, that it is currently unable to deliver a sustainable level of income.”

The company has advertised the building on its website, asking for an annual rent of £17,000, while it waits on the outcome of the planning appeal, now that all representations have been submitted to the council.

Campaigner Mark Thyer, who lead the previous efforts to keep the building running as a pub, said: “We have offered Enterprise Inns help with selecting a new landlord.

“We feel that they are advertising it within the trade and the trade is not good at the moment. We feel that this should be opened up a little more.

“If there is anybody out there who feels that they will have something to offer for the pub, we could possibly help them as well.

“We are the customers and we know what we want and we can get this going. It’s a shame it has to be closed.

“I feel that Tesco is still there and has been keeping quiet.

“We need the planning decision to be upheld, as I feel Tesco is still in the background.”

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