Prince of Wales pub may become flats
5:30am Thursday 29th May 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
ONE of the town’s historic pubs seems to have pulled its last pint after an application has been submitted to convert it into flats.
The Prince of Wales, in Old Town, has had a troubled history as several attempts to revive its fortunes have failed.
Now the pub has been bought by a private developer who is amining to turn it into four separate residential properties.
Although the pub had been struggling for a number of years, the shutters were first pulled down in 2012. A temporary manager had run the site for several months before Punch Taverns closed it while they searched for a new tenant.
Agents were brought in and were offering the venue as either a pub or to sell into the private market.
Hopes were raised when the tenancy was given out last year but it only lasted several months before the doors were closed, seemingly for the last time.
It is believed the pub has been sold by Punch, which is in the middle of a re-structuring programme.
The application to Swindon Council said: “Planning permission is sought for the change of use of the building from a public house and flat, to four independent one-bedroom flats. “The application would therefore result in the net gain of three residential properties. “The application also includes the erection of a flat roofed first floor rear extension and other associated works.
“The change of use primarily consists of internal alterations. The front and side elevations of the building will remain completed unchanged by this proposal with all existing openings being retained and unaltered.”
It represents the latest in a long line of pubs in Swindon to face closure after poor tade.
The Grapes Hotel, in Faringdon Road, was converted last year and a similar application has been put forward for the nearby 12 bar, which closed last year.
An application to build houses on the Queensfield pub which closed several years ago was withdrawn a few months ago but the site’s future looks unlikely to be in the pub industry.
The Campaign For Real Ale says a problem for pubs like the Prince of Wales is they are tied to companies like Punch, which limits the stock they can sell.
When the Grapes closed Hans Hoffbauer, the chairman of the Swindon Campaign for Real Ale branch, said: “It’s always a shame to see a local pub close.
“It is quite common with pubs owned by large companies and therefore restricted on which beers they can buy.”
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