What next for Bristol House pub?
PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 September 2012
PLANS to turn a former pub into a Tesco Express store have hit the buffers after a 'cynical' application to extend the site was rejected by councillors.
Enterprise Inns, which owns the Bristol House pub in Milton Road, Weston, had applied to extend the building, which was understood to be a key condition for Tesco to take on the site.
But following its rejection by councillors, who described it as a ‘Trojan horse’, the site’s future is up in the air, with community campaigners now eager to reopen it as a pub.
The planning application handed in to North Somerset Council was ostensibly to create an ‘additional trading area’ and ‘enlarged catering kitchen’, but ward councillor Robert Payne hauled it before the south area planning committee, where he described it as a ‘cynical’ ploy.
Fellow councillors agreed, with Richard Tucker labelling it a ‘Trojan horse’ and Stephen Fudge saying: “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 at the meeting on September 20.
Campaigners had protested against turning the pub into a Tesco store prior to the meeting, and afterwards campaign organiser Mark Thyer hailed the result as a victory.
He said: “The councillors did us proud with their unanimous rejection of the application in its entirety and we would like to thank them for that – they listened to their residents, saw through the plans and did the right thing.”
Mr Thyer said his group, which got more than 2,800 people to sign a petition against turning into a Tesco store, had written to Enterprise to offer their help in reopening the pub.
He added that the group would keep up its pressure on Tesco to stay away from the site, and that the campaign would continue in the event of an appeal.
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said the firm is in discussions with a number of organisations and people about taking on the site.
She said: “We are continuing to review our options for the site. We are in discussion with members of the local community at the moment.
“No restrictions will be applied to the future of the site.”
A spokesman for Tesco said: “We are aware that the application was refused last Thursday and Enterprise Inns has to look at that detail.”