STORMY winds took the roof clean off the former Three Tuns pub in Wroughton yesterday, setting construction work back three weeks.

High gusts of wind and freezing rain swept around the town yesterday morning causing havoc for commuters and pedestrians.

One gust lifted the roof of the pub on Devizes Road, ripping away a support and damaging the building which is part-way through being renovated.

Shaun Taverner, a project manager with Jehu Project Services, is part of a team shelling the building before contractors move in to create a new Morrisons store.

Shaun had hoped the work would have been completed within the next fortnight.

But the bad weather has set the team off course by two to three weeks.

He said: “I took the call this morning when I was still in Bridgend in Wales and I didn’t quite panic but it was close to it.

“The particularly big gusts of wind this morning lifted the roof off and probably took out a support.

“The structural engineers have been down and so has health and safety and we made the building safe.”

The site has now been cordoned off and people are being warned not to approach because of safety concerns.

The Arkells pub was boarded up in August 2010 after the former landlords left the popular haunt, and an application for supermarket giant, Morrisons, to take on the site was approved last November.

The new store will be a Morrisons M Local, and will see four metre high tubular steel poles with LED lighting put up outside the store, as well as a new shopfront with automatic sliding doors.

The approval of plans to build the store faced opposition from councillors and residents, who expressed views that the democratic process had been too minimal.

A number of councillors expressed concern at the planning meeting that residents’ fears about traffic disruption, noise pollution and an increase in anti-social behaviour were not listened to because the issues fell under the ‘change of use’ application, pushed through as a lawful development.

Change of use is a rule introduced in the summer which enables public houses to be converted to shops without need for a formal planning hearing.