Campaigners who attempted to raise sufficient funds to purchase a pub in south Bristol, which closed earlier this year, have fallen short of their target.
The Save The Windmill campaign group hoped to raise £300,000 to buy The Windmill from its owner Mike Cranney, who closed it on March 1, but were unsuccessful with a total of £170,480 from 428 investors.
Mr Cranney had a planning application to turn the Windmill Hill boozer into flats rejected by Bristol City Council in April, but has resubmitted his plans in the hope of getting them approved at the second time of asking.
Despite not raising the sum required to take over the pub and reopen it as a community-owned venue, Save The Windmill are not giving up in their bid to ensure the pub does not become accommodation.
“We are not giving up and will now work to try and encourage a brewery to purchase the pub as what we have achieved is a demonstration of the community support for this pub – and shown that it could be a successful business with 428 investors ready to be the first customers through its doors,” said Miriam Venner, chair of the steering group.
“So you can congratulate yourselves on collectively presenting that potential to potential landlords, you have put the pub in the best position possible to remain a pub.”
Miriam added the group were “amazed” at the “incredible amount of money” raised, thanking those who pledged.
Everyone who donated to the cause will get a full refund within the next 10 days.
“We are extremely proud of our campaign and the fact that the community rallied behind us in such large numbers,” said Miriam.
“The reality is that the current economic climate is just too uncertain for many people and what might have been possible a year ago is now a victim of the pandemic.
“We hope that one day we may still see you all in the pub.”
Mr Cranney’s plans to turn the pub into five flats can be viewed in full on Bristol City Council’s website.
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A council officer recommended the development be refused in April because it would not provide “acceptable living conditions or a sufficient level of residential amenity for future occupants due to the lack of natural light”.
They also said the proposal was “considered to result in overlooking and loss of privacy to neighbouring properties by way of first floor windows” on one of the units.