Planning experts criticise demolition plans for North Somerset pub
- Credit: Archant
Plans to demolish a North Somerset pub and replace it with a petrol station, café and convenience store have been dealt a blow in new local authority report criticising the proposals.
The Lord Nelson, in Cleeve, faces demolition after owner Tout Ltd revealed to villagers in February it wants to build a petrol station, convenience store, hair salon and pub café on the site.
But those plans may have been dented after the local authority’s planning experts criticised initial proposals.
The applicant engaged in pre-application discussions with North Somerset Council, culminating in a report which was published this week under the Freedom of Information Act after a villager applied to the council.
Part of the report was erroneously leaked in April, revealing the proposals did not include adequate parking provision.
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And the full report has now exposed several obstacles which could scupper Tout’s plans.
The pub is listed as an asset of community value by the council, and ‘designated community assets shall be retained’ according to the Sites and Policies Plan.
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Therefore Tout’s plans require ‘retention and improvement of the remainder of the site for community use’, but the council believes the proposals do not meet such expectations.
North Somerset’s case officer Mike Cole said: “The café shown on the drawings is not the equivalent of the space of the existing pub to be lost.
“You need to demonstrate the partial development of the site will secure the retention and improvement of the remainder of the site for community use. We consider the small café proposed would not comply with this requirement.”
Mr Cole also highlighted issues with highway safety and character and appearance, and suggested an archaeological evaluation of the site may be required.
Managing director of Tout Ltd Jon Tout told the Mercury: “Pre-application discussions with planning officers help provide an early insight into the council’s views on the planning policies and requirements that are likely to guide and inform a future planning application.
“It’s important to note that at this stage the planning officer’s views are informal. More detailed, formal responses from statutory consultees and agencies will come forward once a planning application is submitted.”