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Pub to be demolished for shop, café and fuel station?

PUBLISHED: 15:55 15 February 2017

The Lord Nelson Pub at Cleeve.

The Lord Nelson Pub at Cleeve.


Cleeve’s historic Lord Nelson pub will be knocked down and replaced with a supermarket, a petrol station and a pub café – if owner Tout Ltd’s proposals are materialised.

Members of the campaign to save the Lord Nelson. Members of the campaign to save the Lord Nelson.

The pub closed in November after Greene King sold the site, which operated under Hungry Horse branding.

Villagers eagerly awaited managing director Jon Tout’s initial proposals for the site at a heated parish council meeting this week.

He revealed the Lord Nelson building will be demolished to make way for new two-storey complex which will feature a four-island petrol station, a 4,000sqft Budgens store, a ‘family friendly’ pub café, plus a beauty spa and hair salon.

Mr Tout admitted the plans were not viable without a petrol station, and his contingency plan is to develop the site for housing if planning permission cannot be secured.

Mr Tout confirmed the efforts of the campaign to save the pub, which earned asset of community value (ACV) status from North Somerset Council, motivated him to include a pub café in his proposals, but the existing model was not viable.

He said: “It’s not going to be an old-fashioned drinkers pub. It will appeal to those people but that’s not all it will be.

“We’re not going to promote the negative sides of pubs and drinking, instead we are going to promote the positive – which is a warm, cosy meeting place for people to enjoy.”

Mr Tout also confirmed he plans to relocate the company’s head office from Cheddar to Cleeve.

He added: “This will bring upwards of 100 jobs to Cleeve and the surrounding area.

“It’s a brilliant location for us and it will bring high-level jobs to the village.

“We want to use the historical feel of the Lord Nelson and bring it into the 21st century in the best way we can.”

But residents responded with a number of concerns including noise, lighting and a detrimental impact to traffic and house prices.

Spokesman for the campaign to save the pub, Ian Fergusson, said: “We are grateful to Jon Tout for including a pub-style establishment within his plans.

“Residents will now need to weigh up the likely long-term impacts on Cleeve, versus perceived positives.

“The wider issues are likely to focus on resident concerns towards any filling station as part of the plan, plus objections to the demolition of the iconic 1936 pub and its garden.

“Mr Tout has made clear that any planning refusal of a filling station means he will instead seek to convert the site into housing, with no pub being offered at all.

“However, both ACV status and council restrictions may ultimately mean a pub must also remain there, irrespective of any associated housing plans. So, what may eventually unfold is a high-profile test of the council’s mettle, in standing up for the preservation of village pubs they have designated as an ACV.”

Mr Fergusson revealed the option to agree a community purchase of the site if the plans fail to materialise was quashed by Tout Ltd.

He added: “This has disappointed residents who were willing to fund the purchase and hoping for some spirit of altruism from a local family-run business.”


  • I'm actually surprised to read this. My main surprise it that the Tout family would bother moving ahead, because my friends who work for them in Langford for many years say they are good employers and this sort of thing can't be the way they wanted. They come across as like a mafia family but theyre not. But I wonder if trying to take this pub was a mistake, because you just can't do that and expect people to say 'ok fine', they won't because it's their village history. Big companies do this a lot but I don't get why the Tout family company would risk this. Maybe just give it over to their village and call it quits. Seems silly to force it on them as they obviously aren't keen on the idea from everything I read and hear. Thanks.

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    Saturday, February 18, 2017

  • So sad to hear about the possibility of The Lord Nelson being demolished. My gran's parents ran it, until my grandparents took it over, running it until they were in there 70's. As well as hugely sentimental to my family, it used to be the centre of the community, with clubs getting together, New Years Eve Christmas parties, wedding receptions, skittles clubs, darts clubs etc. Over recent years it seems like lack of investment meant the pub had gone down hill, until finally it closed. It's a shame a large franchise didn't take it over and make it the thriving success it used to be and could be, and again be an asset to the community. The building is a prominent part of Cleeve and it would be devasting to see it go.

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    Sharon Navarra

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

  • Come on wetherspoons buy the Nelson and keep the pub as it is.

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    Thursday, February 16, 2017

  • Oh, here we go again. Another bunch of wealthy developers hell-bent on trashing a quiet village and taking away their old pub and doubtless trying to convince planners it isn't 'viable' (it clearly would be if run well). How often do we need to see this sort of story unfolding in the media? It's sickening. What makes this all the more disgraceful is that the developers in this case promote themselves as a community focused, caring family business. Clearly not. This is a deliberate, money-grabbing attempt to wreck Cleeve and leave it changed beyond recognition when people there don't want it. I'm also aghast to read that Tout Budgens won't accept a fair community offer from locals to buy their pub. Selfish, greedy and that reads to me like a deliberate and pretty underhand attempt to ensure villagers have no chance of ever getting their pub back. Community focused? Shame on Tout Budgens, a company who I used to respect and shop at. Used to.

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    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

  • The 100 jobs he talks about bringing to that on top of the relocated staff?? Cleeve had 3 petrol stations at one point and not one is still trading. Does it need another? What about the hairdressersbeauty salons that already exist in Cleeve? What about the village shop? Cleeve already has a coffee shop at Cleeve nursery. And offering the pub pool team a new pool table, but not in the pub........seriously?? Cleeve needs its pub back!!!!

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    Penny Hall

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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