White Lion could roar again

A LANDMARK building in Portishead High Street could get a new lease of life.

The White Lion pub, once an old water mill, closed its doors in June 2011 and has remained empty ever since. It has been left to decay, leaving residents in fear that it would be sold off to developers.

However, Enterprise Inns, which owns the building, has now submitted a planning application to North Somerset Council to carry out improvements to the property and has issued a statement declaring its support to get the White Lion trading again.

Proposals include the demolition of a rear lobby and the construction of a ground floor extension, with roof terrace. The plans show a bar and DJ booth on one side of the ground floor, while dining facilities are proposed for the other half and the extension.

Drawings also show extended outside seating, gates and railings. The first floor would be dedicated to a restaurant and roof terrace and the second floor would be used for private accommodation.

An Enterprise Inns spokesman said: “We are currently reviewing various concept ideas for this site. To this end, we have submitted planning applications to ensure the White Lion continues trading and realise the full potential of this iconic site.”

The news has been welcomed by people in the town. Councillor Reyna Knight said: “For a long time this historic building was an asset to Portishead High Street, but in recent years the decline of the property and the site around it has been detrimental to the area.

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“I think most people would be very pleased to see it returned to its former glory.”