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Pub demolition would be ‘worst of all worlds’

by mikebell on 9 November, 2011

DEMOLISHING a historic Weston pub would represent ‘the worst of all worlds’ it has been claimed.

Plans to knock down the empty Ashcombe Public House have been submitted by a Bleadon-based firm, which has remained tight-lipped on future ideas for the site.

But both the area’s ward councillor and nearby residents say the demolition could leave the Ashcombe Road site looking like an eyesore for months or even years before anything is done at the location.

If Sanders Brothers’ plans are given a green light by North Somerset Council, the pub, which was built in the early 1840s to serve the workers of the old Royal Potteries, would be demolished on December 1.

It has been empty for around 18 months.

The ward’s town and district councillor Mike Bell thinks other ideas should be sought before a decision is made, saying: “The building is the oldest one in Ashcombe Road and it would be a shame to see the building demolished and lost to the community.

“My own preference would be to see the pub brought back into use to serve the community, failing that a sympathetic conversion of the buildings would have minimum impact on the street scene and would preserve this important part of our town’s history. Certainly I am concerned that to knock it down with no firm plans for the future of the site represents the worst of all worlds.”

David Green, who lives on nearby Stanley Grove, said: “I have real concerns that if the pub is demolished, the site will just sit there without anything being done to it, like what has happened to the land at the corner of Ashcombe and Locking Road, and it will become an eyesore with rubbish and weeds building up.

“Many would mourn the loss of the pub, and many will see it as another sign of decline for the area. Unless there are buildings lined up to replace it quickly, I see no way this will benefit the community. Maybe Sanders Brothers should come forward with those plans.”

Alex Anderson, of Pegasus Planning Group which is acting as agent for Sanders Brothers, said a housing development was being considered as one of several options by the site owners.

The firm declined to comment.

 Reproduced from the Weston and Somerset Mercury

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