Fears for empty pub buildings

PORTISHEAD residents are calling for two redundant pubs to be reopened in the town amid fears for the future of the landmark buildings.

The White Lion in High Street, once an old water mill, and the Royal Oak at West Hill both closed their doors for the last time in June 2011.

Residents say the longer the buildings remain empty, the more run down they are becoming and their appearance is now detrimental to the town . They fear if new tenants are not found soon, the pubs will be sold off to developers.

Former Royal Oak regular Tania Probets said: “It’s so sad, the Royal Oak was the life blood of West Hill for more than 30 years and since its closure the whole of the West Hill community has lost its social hub.

“Now people are saying if a new landlord cannot be found soon it could be turned into flats, which is the last thing we need in Portishead.”

Jim Bessant aged 35 of Bristol Road said: “Something in Portishead High Street died when the White Lion closed and I can’t believe it is taking so long for the owners to find someone to take it on again.

“Residents in Portishead need to campaign to get this popular pub re-opened before some developer steps in to strip the town of yet more of our heritage.”

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A spokesperson for Enterprise Inns, which owns both pubs, would not confirm if selling the pubs off is on the cards, but said: “We are currently reviewing our options with both of these sites to determine what suits the market place best going forward.”