Plan for former pub to become a house

The Battleaxes

The Battleaxes - Credit: supplied

Plans to convert a former pub into a family house have received a mixed response from villagers.

The pub was put up for sale with a £1million asking price after The Country Pub Group, which operated The Battleaxes in Wraxall, entered administration in August. 

Since the firm entered administration, the public house, in Bristol Road, has been put on the market with Fleurets overseeing the sale. 

The group purchased the grade-II listed building in September 2019. 

The pub closed in March 2020 when the UK went into national lockdown and did not reopen. 

A planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council by the building owners to convert the pub into a six-bedroom house.

The applicant said there will be 'no changes to the external area of the building' and the development 'would not result in a significant adverse impact upon the living conditions of neighbouring residents'. 

Nine supporting comments have been submitted on the council's planning portal, with eight people objecting to it.

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Commenting on the plans on the council website, one objector said: “There are no cafés or bars in the parish and the loss of the pub will have a devastating blow in the local community.

"It is of historical significance being originally built as somewhere for local people to gather.”

The watering hole was originally built as a temperance house by Matilda Blanche Gibbs, widow of wealthy merchant William Gibbs, in 1881. 

Its closure left Wraxall without an operating public house as The Old Barn, also in Bristol Road, closed suddenly in November 2017 and has remained shut ever since. 

One supporter stated: ”I fully support this application and feel it would be lovely to save this building from being left to decay.

“If the buyers are willing to invest into the property to save it from this then I think it would be a great way to keep an old building with much history.”

The Old Barn had been a prominent watering hole for more than 20 years. The community room at The Grove - used as a meeting place by villagers and community groups - closed several years ago.