Plans to demolish Tennis Court pub are withdrawn – but fight to protect historic inn continues

Chris Skidmore with regulars at the Tennis Court Inn

Chris Skidmore with regulars at the Tennis Court Inn

The controversial planning application to demolish the Tennis Court pub in Kingswood has been withdrawn.

The application to drop the plans to demolish the historic pub, where the Cock Road Gang once drank, and replace it with a block of 14 flats followed opposition from the local community, supported by their MP Chris Skidmore. A petition has been signed by more than 300 people.

South Gloucestershire Council’s conservation officer also advised the application be withdrawn and if the current use was to cease and a residential use considered to be a viable replacement, then a scheme of “conversion and extension be explored”.

Today Mr Skidmore said he intended to press on with the campaign to protect the 19th pub and said he was calling  a meeting of campaigners and those interested in protecting the it from change of use by having it listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). In order to do this an interest group of 20 residents needs to be registered.

tennis court 002The MP will be holding a meeting at the pub on Friday 4th September at 5.30pm to discuss the next stages of the campaign.

He said: “This is fantastic news that the application to demolish the pub has been withdrawn, and I would like to thank the hundreds of local residents in Kingswood who have signed the petition calling for the planning application to be opposed and the pub protected. I am well aware however that this is only the first stage in the campaign, as new applications could easily be lodged.”

Pub regular Ray Bazeley, who had approached Mr Skidmore to help save the pub, said:  “I am delighted that the application has been withdrawn, and would like to thank Chris for leading the campaign and getting so many residents behind the pub in such a short space of time.

“The Tennis Court pub is a vital asset for our local community, and has been in use in some form as a pub since 1641- we cannot stand by and risk losing this history. Once a pub is demolished, it is gone forever; we need to ensure that we do all we can to protect our heritage, and I welcome Chris’ suggestion that the pub be listed as an asset of community value, and would urge anyone interested in getting involved to attend the meeting.”