Campaigns

The Pubs Group has been and is involved in a number of campaigns about pub closures and redevelopments. A brief description of three of the campaigns we are currently involved in follows:

Cattle Market Tavern - Old Market, Bristol

Cattle Market Tavern Cattle Market Road Bristol BS1 6QW

Press Release - 20th July 2017

Bristol University is under Pressure to Reopen the Cattle Market Tavern

Bristol & District CAMRA and the Bristol Civic Society have called on Bristol University to retain and re-open the Cattle Market Tavern pub.

The pub building, which sits just behind Bristol Temple Meads station, falls within a plot of land that the University plans to develop for its new £300 million campus.

However the Cattle Market Tavern is contemporaneous with the birth of the University and its survival would provide a firm link with the University.

CAMRA's Bristol & District Pubs Group argues that whilst the pub has been closed for many years and requires significant investment to restore, it has the potential to once again become a thriving viable pub. Not only will there be many students moving to the immediate area to support the pub, there will also be:

Peter Bridle, Chair of CAMRA's Bristol & District's Pubs Group says: "We believe that the potential for this pub is immense. Given its proximity to the campus and all the other potential catchment, the University should do everything in its power to find an operator that is prepared to invest in the pub.

"It's great that there are so many developments taking place in the area, but there are very few leisure outlets or heritage landmark buildings nearby. With so many people attracted to this area, the Cattle Market Tavern has great potential to become a thriving pub for those who work and live in the Temple Quarter area."

Simon Birch, the Chair of the Bristol Civic Society says: "Bristol Civic Society strongly supports CAMRA's initiative to save the Cattle Market Tavern public house. The Society would like to see the Campus repair and reuse the Cattle Market Tavern. Currently, this building is in poor repair and is unlisted. However, it is an interesting building that is soundly constructed from good quality materials. It stands on a corner of the site and could provide a use ancillary to the Campus. It would provide local character and its individual quality, set alongside a massive modern development, would create an individual statement, a blend of the old and new in the spirit recommended in the Enterprise Zone Spatial Framework."

Ends

Notes to Editors

By Sam Kendon MA Dip Arch, architect and member of CAMRA's Bristol Pubs Group:

  1. In principle there are many more good reasons for retaining pubs in redevelopment areas; they are often bigger, grander and more distinct than their surroundings and can act a focal points in a new pattern of building. In the case of the Cattle Market Tavern there aren't really any built surroundings yet, but it is a well-made building, quietly elegant and well-detailed in robust materials; red brick, plain clay tiles, stucco with robustly detailed moulded brick, bold chimney stacks and handsome timberwork. Although currently untidy, it looks basically sound; the brickwork and chimney stacks appear to be in good condition and the roof could be easily repaired.
  2. Much is made of intentions to create special buildings and places using the excellent waterfront locations and paying at least lip service to local traditions, built forms and materials. No doubt the same was said about the Temple Quarter office buildings, yet what has resulted is a handful of undistinguished buildings.
  3. With Fielden Clegg in charge of the master plan, one is optimistic of a much more distinguished effort, but the surrounding fabric is important (the University says it is paying "close attention to nearby Listed Buildings"), even if it is not as appealing to architectural ego as the chance to do "Iconic" new buildings. It is in punctuating the new streetscape that the Cattle Market Tavern could be so valuable, not just as good building but as an illustration of simple quality construction, the lack of which so often characterises major redevelopments. Having swept away earlier buildings and patterns, master plans sometimes fail in their attempts to create interest and variety simply because the tabula rasa thus created means that such interventions are inevitably arbitrary and contrived.
  4. The retention of as much historic fabric as possible helps to create rich and diverse urban fabric. It may be slightly more demanding of the designer but the results are infinitely better. The site of the old cattle market with its riversides, railway structures and few remaining historic buildings could and really should be something special. Since the Cattle Market Tavern and the wider site are in Bristol City Council/University ownership, we would hope to argue strongly for the Enterprise Zone brief to retain the pub and its associated stables/office buildings as contributors to regeneration and as a memento of the site's former use which will otherwise be totally lost.
  5. The University at their recent presentation made the right noises: "heritage is really important", "interested in your (Bristol Civic Society, another Cattle Market Tavern supporters) advice", "retaining built interest", "respect and cherish heritage".
  6. Much was made of the difficulty of dealing with disposal of demolished materials; demolishing the Cattle Market Tavern would only add to that.
  7. It can be asked why a simple bus lay-by had seemed to make it necessary to clear the Cattle Market Tavern out of the way; it could easily go a bit further south, perhaps in a sort of piazza linking the Cattle Market Tavern with the riverside and providing chairs and tables as well as bus stops, just like many European cities. The University said they wanted "active" ground floors, i.e. shops, bars, restaurants etc. so the Cattle Market Tavern fits right in with this statement.
  8. It also could provide a valuable transition in scale from the proposed 8-9 storey buildings at the centre of the site to a more modest scale at the perimeter/riverside.
Bristol University's Estates Office website says of the Master Plan: "The University of Bristol Masterplan was adopted by Bristol City Council in July 2006. The University will still need to apply for planning permission for each new development, but broadly speaking, Bristol City Council approves of the University's Estate Development."

Lamplighters - Shirehampton, Bristol

The 18th-century Lamplighters pub in Shirehampton closed its doors at the start of 2010 and has been left standing empty ever since. The pub is in a great location on the riverside in quiet surroundings within a few minute's walk of the railway station and close to a park and ride bus service. It has extensive premises located over three storeys, a car park and a large garden.

The Lamplighters closed in January 2010 and people from all around Bristol were very concerned over its future. Nobody wanted this pub lost. On 31st July 2010, Bristol Pubs Group had its first meeting with the local MP Charlotte Leslie to discuss their concerns and explain some of the matters affecting the pub trade and the ongoing loss of community pubs. She had already made her concerns known over this pub’s future.

Prior to the pub’s closure, Enterprise Inns failed to maintain this listed building, leading to theft of lead and later vandalism. This reached the state of having windows smashed and water leaking through three floors, thus it becoming an eyesore. Charlotte Leslie made clear to the owners she wanted this pub protected and saved. She spread the word and set up communications with various bodies over the pub’s potential.

Churchill Property Group bought the land with intention of reviving the pub for someone else to then run. They felt a need to put a large portion of its beer garden to use for housing and applied for planning permission for five homes. Bristol Pubs Group and the public made their views known, with the feeling that if having homes there would lead to the restoration of the building as a pub, then they would support it. The Council were also keen to see this pub restored.

Kings Weston House in a neighbouring ward has been under restoration for quite some time. Those carrying this out took sympathy on the Lamplighters as well, so they stepped in. The area reserved for the pub’s use was therefore bought last winter. The pub is now owned by Dominic Gundry-White and Norman Routledge. Restoration work has been taking place since. In June, Charlotte Leslie rounded up local volunteers to help in some of the work, which probably helped to reduce the delay of a re-opening and bring more local pride in the results.

After a lot of hard work and perseverance to save this pub, it is now up and running under the management of Kathie Gundry-White.


Farriers Arms - Fishponds, Bristol

The Farriers Arms is a prominent mid Georgian building on Fishponds Road, which has been a pub since 1872. It closed in October 2010 and was bought by Morrisons Supermarkets. Morrisons put in a planning application to demolish the pub and replace it by an extension of their current Fishponds store.

The group and local members submitted objections to this planning application. Members of the group had been lobbying the local MP (Kerry McCarthy) and local councillors about this. They also co-ordinated efforts with other community groups (such as Living Easton) who opposed this application

Morrisons withdrew their planning application. We await developments.


Iron Bridge - Coombe Dingle, Bristol

The Iron Bridge (formerly the Progress) was a large 1930‘s estate pub in an area of North Bristol with very few pubs. It closed in 2010 and a planning application, (11/00880/F) was submitted to convert the pub into a children’s nursery and to build housing.

The group and individual members submitted objections to this planning application. Members of the group also lobbied local councillors about this. The planning application was approved and the pub was converted.

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