A LONG-awaited decision on the future of a historic Cirencester pub has been delayed.
Councillors failed to reach an agreement on the future of The Waggon and Horses Inn at a Cotswold District Council planning meeting on Tuesday morning.
Developer CDMC Properties Limited want to demolish and alter parts of pub in London Road, to make way for the flats.
Council officers recommended the planning committee approve the application but councillors could neither agree to approve the proposal nor refuse it.
Throughout the meeting, Cirencester mayor Cllr Patrick Coleman and Cllr Roly Hughes were urging councillors to refuse the appeal.
Cllr Coleman spoke of how ‘for many residents the Waggon and Horses Inn is their closest pub’ and for councillors to ignore the viability report.
Cllr Berry (Kemble), who proposed that to approve the recommendation to turn the pub into flats said that the committee had to look at the reality of the siltation.
“Looking at the reality, an awful lot of pubs have closed recently.
“I think if there is even the slightest hint of interest we should keep it as a pub, but we haven’t had any interest.”
“We all want to keep the pub, but we have to have a look at it with planning rules in mind.
“We may not like it but we have to make a decision based on that.”
And with no option to defer the application, the proposal will now go to the full council in two weeks’ time – September 25.
The proposal to develop the London Road pub is the second time it has been before the planning committee, which blocked a similar bid earlier this year.
The Waggon and Horses Inn has been closed since January 2018 when its previous tenants’ lease expired.
Cirencester Town Council objected to the application on the grounds of “detrimental loss to the vitality and viability” of the town centre, and would “diminish” the towns cultural and tourism offerings.
A design and access statement submitted to the district council by the developer said: “The proposals have been carefully considered along side both local and national policy to allow for an appropriate development to be proposed. The site looks to blend in with the surrounding area and enhance, views into and out of the site and its setting.
“The change of use is considered to be appropriate for the area and due to its sustainable location would be entirely suitable becoming a car free development.
“Minor works have been proposed to make good previous low quality works and bring the units up to what’s considered as modern living standards to bring the buildings back to use.”