REVEALED: New plans for Lord Nelson published
PUBLISHED: 07:27 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:27 15 February 2019
Revised plans to demolish a pub and replace it with a petrol station have been revealed, but defiant villagers still insist it should not be flattened.
Tout Ltd has refreshed its blueprints for the Lord Nelson, in Cleeve, which it hopes to bulldoze to build a Budgens shop, pub café, salon and offices in its place.
Criticism from North Somerset Council’s planning officers prompted Tout to make changes to its vision for the former Hungry Horse – which served its last pint more than two years ago.
Tout’s plans were met with a wave of discontent when they were submitted 12 months ago, and villagers’ concerns over noise, ecological impact and the loss of a heritage asset remain.
In December the firm admitted it was going back to the drawing board and it had scrapped plans for a 24/7 refuelling station.
Speaking prior to Christmas, Jon Tout, the firm’s managing director, said: “We have been working closely with planning officers on addressing some of the key issues and aspirations linked to our application.”
The updated designs show the petrol station would be open from 7am-11pm, and the footprint of the building is slightly reduced.
But the new plans, which again will be reviewed by council planning officers, have failed to win over campaigners bidding to save the building.
Ian Fergusson, spokesman for the Friends Nelson Group, told the Times: “Since 1936, the Lord Nelson has been a key Cleeve landmark on the Bristol to Weston route.
“The council’s heritage officer has stated this planning application does not justify its loss. Villagers agree that once we raze our heritage, it’s gone forever.
“It is short-sighted to condemn the Lord Nelson’s built fabric and potential for future re-use based on its ruinous tenure by Greene King, who ran it down.
“That’s akin to decreeing a church can be demolished, just because people disliked its previous vicar and stayed away.
“With empathy and creativity, Tout Ltd has an opportunity to seal a place in Cleeve’s historical timeline as saviours, not executioners, of this important community and heritage asset.
“We sincerely hope it submits an amended scheme preserving the building and dropping any idea of a petrol station.”
The Times has contacted Tout Ltd for comment.