Concern as brewery puts renamed inn up for sale
A BREWERY is looking to sell a Royal Wootton Bassett pub renamed after the town was granted royal patronage in 2011.
The Royal Inn in the High Street has been closed for 18 months while the Swindon-based brewery tried to find a buyer.
But after having no success Arkell’s are now considering other options, including selling the property as a residential dwelling.
Barry Russell, the finance director at Arkells, said: “The Royal has been closed for 18 months and it has been on the market as a commercial property since then.
“But there have been no commercial offers and the brewery does not want Wootton Bassett to have an empty building on the High Street. It’s exploring an alternative usage in which residential may play a part.”
Earlier this month Wiltshire Council rejected a planning application from the brewery to change the use of the property from a pub and convert it into five apartments.
In the refusal notice, the council said: “It is considered that every reasonable attempt to market the premises other than for the purpose of residential development has not been undertaken and that all preferable options have not been exhausted in order to justify the change of use.
“The financial information provided does not clearly demonstrate that the business is no longer economically viable. The information does not justify the change of use as Arkell’s have other successful premises in the local area.
“The proposed development does not make any provision for securing open space to meet the needs of future residents of the proposed development through financial contributions towards provision and maintenance of open space off site in the locality.”
The news has concerned local businesses and residents, with many wanting to see the High Street property back in use.
Hazel Newson, the chairwoman of the Wootton Bassett Business Association, said: “Ideally it would be good to see The Royal re-opened as another business in the town.
“However, whether it continues as a pub in the future or is redeveloped into living accommodation, we hope the building finds a new lease of life very soon.”
The pub, which has been established in the town for more than 200 years, opened as the Borough Arms between 1812 and 1829.
The 373 square metre property is on the market with commercial estate agents Whitmarsh Lockhart and the asking price is £295,000.
For more information or to make an enquiry, visit www.whitmarshlockhart.com or call 01793 541000.
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