New plans for Lord Nelson revealed

The Lord Nelson and it's massive fence at Cleeve.

The Lord Nelson and it's massive fence at Cleeve. - Credit: Archant

Defiant villagers remain adamant a pub should not be bulldozed, despite revised plans being tabled.

Campaigners gather against the proposed development of the Lord Nelson site at Cleeve.

Campaigners gather against the proposed development of the Lord Nelson site at Cleeve. - Credit: Archant

Tout Ltd has amended its blueprints for the Lord Nelson, in Cleeve, following scrutiny from planning experts.

The Cheddar firm hopes to demolish the former Hungry Horse eatery to build a petrol station, shop, café, salon and offices in place of the pub, which served its last pint two years ago.

Criticism from North Somerset Council’s planning officers prompted Tout, which runs Budgens stores in Langford and Nailsea, to make changes to its vision for development.

Tout’s plans were met with a wave of discontent when they were submitted 12 months ago, and villagers’ concerns over noise, ecological impact and the loss of a heritage asset remain.

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In December the firm admitted it was going back to the drawing board and it had scrapped plans for a 24/7 refuelling station.

Speaking prior to Christmas, Jon Tout, the firm’s managing director, said: “We have been working closely with planning officers on addressing some of the key issues and aspirations linked to our application.”

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The updated designs show the petrol station would run from 7am-11pm, and the footprint of the building is slightly reduced.

But the new plans, which again will be reviewed by council planning officers, have failed to win over campaigners bidding to save the building.

Ian Fergusson, spokesman for the Friends Nelson Group, told the Mercury: “Since 1936, the Lord Nelson has been a key Cleeve landmark on the Bristol to Weston route.

“The council’s heritage officer has stated this planning application does not justify its loss. Villagers agree that once we raze our heritage, it’s gone forever.

“It is short-sighted to condemn the Lord Nelson’s built fabric and potential for future re-use based on its ruinous tenure by Greene King, who ran it down.

“With empathy and creativity, Tout Ltd has an opportunity to seal a place in Cleeve’s historical timeline as saviours, not executioners, of this important community and heritage asset.

“We sincerely hope it submits an amended scheme preserving the building and dropping any idea of a petrol station.”

The Mercury has approached Tout Ltd for comment.

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