Council halts today’s planned demolition of old Station Master pub in Warmley

station masterPlanning chiefs have halted today’s proposed demolition of the old Station Master pub in Warmley High Street on wildlife protection grounds.

Plans to knock down the building that was last used as Indian restaurant and takeaway Bollywood Spice had sparked objections from some local residents, mainly  on heritage grounds and the lack of information about the “missed development” that would replace it, although there has been support from others who say the building has been in a bad state for many years.

Bristol & Bath Developments Ltd notified South Gloucestershire Council last month of their intention to start knocking down the locally listed building on 28th May.  The company said the derelict and fire-damaged building was an eyesore.

But yesterday the council’s planning officers said that the proposed demolition was likely to have a “significant impact on local amenity as the site could potentially be considered ecologically sensitive, offering roosting opportunities for bats and breeding birds”.

In their decision notice they said: “In the interest of protected species which may be present the method of demolition will need to be controlled and a survey undertake to identify whether bats and breeding birds are present and if so, a mitigation strategy will be required to be drawn up and agreed with the council to regulate the demolition.”

In recent days developer Gordon Ogden has moved to allay the fears of some residents about the intentions for the site.

He said: “Obviously asking for a demolition order without having plans in place for what we intend to replace it with has raised legitimate concerns with local residents. Our intention is to redevelop the site with a small mixed development of housing and an office to replace our existing office in St Ivel Way, Warmley.

“All buildings will be two storey and the offices will be in the style of housing. The street scene therefore will be one of a housing development similar to those houses opposite even though offices may be inside these front facing buildings. These buildings will be built with a view to easy conversion to housing at any time in the future.

“There are no deliveries expected to the offices other than normal office consumable suppliers all of which will come into the site with their vans. All office workers’ cars will park within the site and the housing proposed at the rear of the site will be within a secure gated type community.”