Part of Lord Nelson petrol station plan labelled ‘wholly unacceptable’ by council

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 - Credit: Archant

Parts of a plan to redevelop Cleeve’s empty Lord Nelson pub have been deemed ‘wholly unacceptable’ by North Somerset Council’s highways department, sending the developer back to the drawing board.

Tout Ltd hopes to demolish the vacant watering hole, in favour of building a mixed-use complex featuring a petrol station, convenience store and a pub café, with a planning application currently under scrutiny from the local authority.

The proposed demolition of the 1930s pub, which last operated as a Hungry Horse in 2016, has received much criticism from villagers – with a campaign battling to keep bulldozers from moving in underway.

North Somerset’s highways team, too, is not satisfied with the plans, which it says in practice would not allow for certain vehicles to exit the site safely onto the A370.

Drawings submitted by the developer showing fuel tankers exiting the Main Road site’s car park failed to convince the council such a vehicle could join the road in an appropriate fashion.

The highways report, published on June 20, states: “The tracking demonstrates when exiting the site the vehicle will overrun the edge of the pavement, shown as vegetation on the submitted plans.

“Furthermore, the vehicle will stray into the opposing carriageway, forcing traffic on the A370 to stop to allow the tanker to exit the site.

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“This is a wholly unacceptable layout for a key, highly-trafficked route and demonstrates the tanker cannot safely exit the site.

“Furthermore, should the tanker wish to exit towards Bristol, it appears unlikely this manoeuvre can be completed within the available space.”

The authority called on the developer, which runs Budgens stores in Langford and Nailsea, to provide more information so its highways officers can make a decision whether to recommend the plans for approval.

The council had raised concerns over parking provision in a pre-application report published last year, but this issue has been rectified according to the highways officers – with 74 spaces planned.

The report, written by development officer Mike Cole, adds: “I am of the view the transport assessment has demonstrated sufficient parking spaces can be provided.”

Cleeve Parish Council has also opposed the pub’s demolition.