Demolition plans for Lord Nelson pub submitted to angst of campaigners

PUBLISHED: 13:00 18 February 2018

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

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

Archant

More than a year after it closed, definitive development plans for Cleeve’s ‘iconic’ Lord Nelson pub have come to light.

The 1930s pub is set to be demolished, with a mixed-use facility – including a pub café, offices, salon and petrol station – built in its place, if owner Tout Ltd secures planning permission from North Somerset Council.

Cheddar-based Tout Ltd, which operates Budgens stores in Nailsea and Langford, bought the former Hungry Horse eatery from Greene King in December 2016.

Tout’s initial proposals were revealed to villagers a year ago, and many have launched attempts to prevent demolition since, with one this week calling on the ‘crass idea’ to be thrown away.

The firm believes the design of the new building maintains a ‘traditional feel juxtaposed by the modern features’.

Its design and access statement added: “This will provide much-needed facilities to locals and road users, as the site has done for many years as a public house, while maintaining traditional characteristics of the village.

“The proposed building has been designed to replicate the style of the existing pub, with integral thought to sustainability.

“The village hall, close to the site, has given inspiration in regard of materials.

“The scale of the site is appropriate to its surroundings. The proposed building reduces the overall height of the site, in comparison to its predecessor.”

But the plans have been met with concern from residents, with many objecting to the proposal on the council’s planning portal.

Ian Fergusson, of the campaign to save the pub, described the plans as ‘utter lunacy’.

He said: “The village is committed to preventing demolition of this iconic heritage asset, which is a fundamental part of Cleeve’s historical, cultural and architectural fabric.

“It is a much-loved landmark, perfectly suited for sympathetic conversion and renovation to accommodate a smaller bar and mixed use development.

“It says it all when the owners own planning heritage impact report states ‘the removal of the pub and its car park would remove its setting, resulting in a total loss of significance for this locally significant heritage asset’.

“This entire crazy scheme – driven by greed and showing no care whatsoever for our village setting, nor for protection of heritage and greenbelt environment – needs putting into the dustbin of crass ideas.”

Villagers did try to get the pub listed to preserve its heritage but its application was unsuccessful.

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