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Delay-hit appeal finally set to make progress to determine pub’s future

Published on: 19 Dec 2017

AN appeal to decide the future of a Chipping Sodbury pub can finally progress after a delay over missing documents.

There were many objections to the proposal to knock down the Tern Inn, on Heron Way, and build 26 flats and a cafe in its place.

A large number of local people, Dodington Parish Council and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) all objected and South Gloucestershire Council subsequently rejected the application.

The scale of opposition to the outline scheme also led to the pub - and a car park used by customers of local shops and parents of children at Raysfield School - being declared an asset of community value.

That gives the community six months to put a bid together if the landowner ultimately decides to sell.

Agents acting for the applicant, Mark Lewis, were instructed to appeal against the refusal and South Gloucestershire was notified of the move back in July.

However, the Planning Inspectorate could not process the appeal due to missing documents and the six-month deadline for them to be received was fast approaching.

At the end of November, the inspectorate said the appeal was still not considered valid.

Now the necessary documents have been lodged and the inspectorate has confirmed the appeal has become valid.

It said it was now waiting for a suitable planning inspector to become available and be appointed.

A case officer will then be allocated to start the appeal and set out details of the timetable and procedure, including setting a date for a site visit by the inspector.

Among the grounds for South Gloucestershire Council’s decision were the loss to the community of the pub and car park, the effect on the “vitality and viability” of local shops and increased congestion on surrounding roads due to the loss of parking.

More than 300 objections had been submitted to the planners, as well as petitions against the development.

Although the pub had continued to trade when the application was submitted, it closed in June when the lease expired and was subsequently boarded up.

Despite the setback, campaigners are still determined to get it re-opened.

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