'Cherished' pub handed lifeline after council grants community asset status

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:25 12 January 2017

The Lord Nelson Pub at Cleeve.

The Lord Nelson Pub at Cleeve.

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Plans to convert a village pub into a supermarket may be scuppered after North Somerset Council granted the pub asset of community value (ACV) status.

The Lord Nelson, in Cleeve, has been handed a lifeline which means conversion plans will require planning permission from North Somerset Council.

The pub closed in November after Cheddar-based Tout Ltd, which operates Budgens stores in Langford and Nailsea, bought it from Greene King.

A campaign to save the 200-year-old pub was formed on its closure, and a petition for ACV status – which earned nearly 700 supporters – was delivered to North Somerset Council.

Spokesman for the campaign, Ian Fergusson told the Mercury: “We are delighted the council has agreed to list the Lord Nelson as an ACV.

“Our nomination in late November – just as Greene King shut our pub suddenly and unceremoniously – garnered widespread support within the local community through a petition, and was backed by our parish council and district councillor Deborah Yamanaka.

“The whole context of our effort to save the Lord Nelson has now materially changed with the ACV and the legal underpinnings it provides for the entire site it sits on.”

Mr Fergusson said he wants to ‘work co-operatively’ with Tout Ltd to ‘secure a bright future’ for the ‘cherished’ pub.

He added: “There is an overwhelming desire to keep the village pub.

“We hope Tout Ltd act in the spirit of both the ACV and council planning obligations, to ensure retaining a pub is a key aspect of future plans for the site.”

A similar campaign earned ACV status for Weston’s Bristol House pub, which has twice fought off supermarket conversions.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “The Lord Nelson is considered an important focus for community activity and a particularly valuable social meeting place for local people as there are no other pubs in Cleeve.”

The Mercury contacted Tout Ltd to comment on the decision, but did not receive a reply at the time of going to press.

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