Heritage charity backs bid to save pub from bulldozers

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 April 2018

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

Archant

A national heritage charity has backed a campaign to save a demolition-threatened village pub, with hopes it can 'thrive again'.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage (SBH) has pledged its support to campaigners bidding to prevent Cleeve’s ‘centrepiece’, the Lord Nelson, from being bulldozed.

The pub faces being knocked down and replaced with a petrol station, convenience store, salon, offices and a pub café – if owner Tout Ltd can secure planning permission from North Somerset Council.

Tout bought the former Hungry Horse eatery, in Main Road, from Greene King in 2016, and it has been closed since – with many villagers angry with the developer’s plans.

Campaigners hope the council will refuse consent to flatten the 1930s building, with more than 270 people taking to North Somerset’s online planning portal to object to Tout’s proposals.

A bid to see the pub granted listed status by Historic England failed last year, but campaigners’ efforts have been boosted by SBH, which has submitted an objection to the local authority, arguing demolition would ‘harm the character and appearance of Cleeve’.

SBH says it is ‘far from convinced the loss of the building is compensated by the proposed replacement’, adding it is ‘little more than pastiche: a poor design with inferior materials which will negatively impact the local area’.

SBH director Henrietta Billings said: “We are delighted to support the case of the Lord Nelson pub in Cleeve.

“It is buildings like this fine 1930s pub which make our towns interesting, characterful and distinctive.

“We very much hope the planning application is refused and the Lord Nelson can thrive again.”

MORE: Tout’s plans for Lord Nelson revealed

Ian Fergusson, member of the campaign to save the pub, said: “Last year, Historic England concluded the Lord Nelson has ‘clear local interest’.

“Demolition of this heritage asset, a centrepiece of Cleeve, would fly in the face of national and local planning strategy.

“Villagers insist on its sensitive renovation and conversion to a mixed-use facility, including a traditional, pleasant pub under new vision, rather than the uncaring corporate shambles that characterised Greene King’s Hungry Horse tenure.”

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