Pub’s petrol station plans successful on appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:03 11 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 11 March 2020

Villagers have campaigned against Touts proposals since 2016.	Picture: Mark Atherton

Villagers have campaigned against Touts proposals since 2016. Picture: Mark Atherton

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Controversial plans to demolish a village pub and replace it with a petrol station have been approved on appeal.

Controversial plans to demolish a village pub and replace it with a petrol station have been approved on appeal.

North Somerset Council refused Tout Ltd's plans for Cleeve's Lord Nelson to replace it with a petrol station, convenience store and office accommodation in May.

Tout appealed the decision in October and a three-day inquiry, held last month, was found successful on Tuesday.

An artist's impression of Tout Ltd's plans for the Lord Nelson. Picture: Tout LtdAn artist's impression of Tout Ltd's plans for the Lord Nelson. Picture: Tout Ltd

The inspector found 'no substantive evidence' to justify the dismissal of the appeal on the grounds of 'harm to living conditions' of nearby homeowners.

They also found the development 'would be acceptable in terms of its impact on protected species' and the 'benefits of the scheme would, on balance, weigh in favour of the development' despite it being on greenbelt land.

Jonathan Tout, managing director for Tout Ltd, said: 'I have absolute faith in this model, providing neighbourhood and roadside services at the correct scale, focussed on providing what the market needs in a highly accessible location.

The Lord Nelson has been boarded up since 2016. Picture: Mark AthertonThe Lord Nelson has been boarded up since 2016. Picture: Mark Atherton

'We are looking to replace an underused pub which was closed due to poor trading, with a valuable local hub, giving the neighbourhood everything they need for now and into future.'

The boarded-up pub closed in late 2016 when owner Greene King put the building on the market before it was purchased by Tout - which owns a Budgens in Langford.

Villagers have been campaigning to save the pub from demolition for the past four years.

Cllr Steve Hogg, whose ward includes Cleeve, told the Mercury: 'I am saddened that a planning decision made by the local authority has been overturned at appeal.

'I realise that the Nelson had stood empty for a number of years, but replacing it with another Budgens and a filling station shows how little community assets such as these are valued.

'I also wonder how we will reflect on the decision to allow the building of another filling station on the A370, particularly in light of the climate emergency and advances in technology that may render the petrol pump pretty much obsolete within a couple of decades.

Campaigners celebrated planning permission being refused for Lord Nelson at Cleeve to be turned into petrol station in May 2019.      Picture: MARK ATHERTONCampaigners celebrated planning permission being refused for Lord Nelson at Cleeve to be turned into petrol station in May 2019. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

'I worry too about the impact on some of the established local independent businesses.

'I think this decision will unquestionably change the character of Cleeve.'


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