Campaigners' victory in fight to keep pub alive

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 September 2012

Community campaigners outside town hall before Thursday's meeting

Community campaigners outside town hall before Thursday's meeting

Archant

CAMPAIGNERS from one community in Weston scored a victory as contentious plans to extend a pub were refused by councillors.

Pub owners Enterprise Inns had submitted an application to extend the Bristol House pub in Milton Road – an expansion of the property that would be needed for supermarket giant Tesco to convert it into an express store.

But councillors at North Somerset Council widely condemned the application as ‘cynical’ and a ‘Trojan horse’, and it was unanimously refused at the authority’s South Area planning committee on Thursday.

The pub’s licensees had their tenancy ended by Enterprise in July, and it then emerged that the firm was in discussion over leasing of the site to Tesco, with a view to turning it into an express store.

That led to campaigners starting a petition – which now has more than 2,800 signatures – and lobbying for the building to be returned to its previous use as a pub.

Enterprise then handed an application in to North Somerset to extend the pub to create an ‘additional trading area’ and ‘enlarged catering kitchen’.

But the application was pulled before the planning committee by councillor Robert Payne, who described it as ‘cynical’ at Thursday’s meeting.

He was supported by other councillors – Richard Tucker described it as a ‘Trojan horse’ while Stephen Fudge said: “Quite frankly this application stinks – it’s got the words deception written right across the middle of it and I don’t like it one bit.”

Councillors unanimously rejected the application on the grounds that it would constitute overdevelopment at the site, may cause traffic problems and that there was inadequate space for parking.

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