Lord Nelson petrol station saga resumes as Tout appeals council's rejection call

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2019

Campaigners celebrating planning permission being refused for Lord Nelson at Cleeve to be turned into petrol station.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Campaigners celebrating planning permission being refused for Lord Nelson at Cleeve to be turned into petrol station. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Almost six months after plans to demolish a pub and build a petrol station were blocked, a developer has lodged an appeal with the Government.

An artist's impression of Tout Ltd's plans for the Lord Nelson. Picture: Tout LtdAn artist's impression of Tout Ltd's plans for the Lord Nelson. Picture: Tout Ltd

Tout Ltd hopes to overturn North Somerset Council's decision on proposals for the Lord Nelson in Cleeve.

The council refused planning permission in May, leaving the developer's plan to convert the former Hungry Horse eatery into a petrol station, convenience store, offices and an alcohol-serving café in tatters.

Tout, which runs Budgens stores in Langford and Nailsea, has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, weeks before the six-month deadline.

Jon Tout, its managing director, insisted before the plans were refused he would call on the Planning Inspectorate to intervene, believing it was the only way to secure a 'fair hearing'.

It means an independent inspector will oversee an inquiry - most likely in the coming months - where the applicant, the council and members of the public will be able to have their say on the project.

The pub has been closed since late-2016 when owner Greene King put the building on the market, and it has been boarded up and surrounded by a large fence throughout Tout's tenure.

The redevelopment plan was met with opposition from villagers who were concerned not only by the loss of their pub, but travel, noise and ecological issues they fear would be created.

Hundreds raised objections with the council, and their comments resonated with the authority's planning officers.

Case officer Mike Cole, in his decision notice, said: "The development would result in a significant adverse impact upon the living conditions of neighbouring residents.

"The bulk of the structure would be made more prominent by the twin gable design which would reinforce the sense that this is a large building that is out of scale with the village buildings that surround it.

"The impacts would be added to by the harsh appearance of the filling station with its canopy adding to the bulk of development when it is viewed from the road.

"The development would therefore fail to demonstrate sensitivity to the local character and would not enhance the sense of place of the village of Cleeve."

A date or venue for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.

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