Community loses battle to save Windmill Pub in Bristol from being turned into flats

Protesters outside The Windmill pub in Windmill Hill, Bristol
Residents have been campaigning to save the Windmill since it closed in March 2020 Credit: ITV West Country

Controversial plans to turn a much-loved Bristol pub into flats have been given the green light, despite a large community effort to save it from development.

Bristol City Council had previously refused planning permission for the Windmill Pub in Bedminster last year, but an appeal process has now granted permission for the flats.

The pub closed in March 2020 and its owners applied for permission to convert the building into five apartments.

Campaigners hailed the planning refusal in November last year as a victory and said the loss of the pub would be a 'travesty' for Windmill Hill.

However Bar Wars, which owns the pub, appealed to the planning inspector and they have now granted permission for the flats.

The planning inspector said: “The loss of the public house would be difficult to those residents who regularly used the facility, enjoy its proximity and the services it offered.

"However, based on the evidence before me, there are two existing alternatives within a short walk, together with a further eight public houses accessible along safe routes within a reasonable walking distance."

Last November, councillors and residents argued that the Windmill offered a unique pub in the local area, and other nearby pubs were either too far to walk to or along routes that could be unsafe after dark.

Plans were initially granted permission by the council in November 2020 but a legal challenge then led to the council quashing the decision, and the plans went back to the development control committee in November last year, when permission was refused.

The local community had tried to raise funds to buy the pub, but failed to raise enough money.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter