Pub sold to food store chain
- Credit: Archant
An 80-year-old Weston-super-Mare pub is set to become a convenience store, despite campaigners battling for years to keep it running, the Mercury can reveal.
The Mercury has learned this week The Co-operative will be taking over the Bristol House Inn in Milton Road.
Campaigners have fought for years to keep the pub running, even staving off supermarket giant Tesco four years ago.
When the pub’s regulars found out the pub could be leased to Tesco in 2012, the Save the Bristol House Inn Campaign was launched.
The pub’s owner, Enterprise Inns, submitted plans to the council to extend the building and the plans were viewed by regulars as an attempt to make the building more appealing to the supermarket chain.
The landlord left the pub amid the furore and a 3,000-strong petition against the plans to change the store into a Tesco Express was handed to North Somerset Council.
Campaigners then lobbied successfully to have the pub listed as a community asset until 2018, which means Enterprise will not be able to sell the pub without giving interested community groups the opportunity to put a bid together.
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After losing the appeal, a spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “We continue to review all options for the Bristol House Inn, of which the sale of the freehold is one, but no final decisions have been made at this stage.”
The pub re-opened briefly for six months, closing again in June 2013 with Enterprise saying it was ‘unable to deliver a sustainable level of income’.
Speaking at the time, campaigner Mark Thyer said: “The people of Milton and Ashcombe Park areas want their pub back and will support a vibrant operator able to listen to the residents, recognise what is needed and put it into practice.”
It opened again under a new landlord in January 2014 and it has continued to trade.
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But Enterprise Inns continued to pursue other options and has now found a buyer for the building.
The Co-operative confirmed it would be opening a store at the site, but it would not be launching until some time next year.