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04/07/2019

Locals condemn plans to convert valued community pub into flats

A profitable and popular venue and the last remaining community pub in the immediate area, the Three Crowns in Blackswarth Road, St George is under threat. Despite initial promises by the London based buyer to re-open part of the venue as a pub, they have since put in a planning application to convert the entire building into flats at the expense of the local community.

Commenting on the planning application, local resident Anthony Hannan said: “The Three Crowns in Blackswarth Road has seen the area grow up around it and has been open for more than 200 years with the current building dating from the earliest part of the 20th century. It has been let down by the new purchaser who has applied to turn this popular community venue into flats which will also affect the surrounding property. This has disappointed local residents and much of the wider community as a whole.”

The pub was popular with local people and those from the surrounding areas when it was open. The application flies in the face of Bristol City Council granting it an Asset of Community Value (ACV) status and its Historic Listing.

The Deputy Mayor and Local Councillor for St George West Asher Craig has added her support for the return of the pub saying: “local residents and community are opposed to this development. An ACV is in place because the primary use of the Three Crowns furthers the social well-being and interests of the local community. The community successfully argued that the pub and land should continue to be used in a way that will further the social well-being and interests of the local community of St George.”

A spokesperson from Bristol & District CAMRA’s Pubs Group Committee added: “the immediate area has lost its pubs in recent years such as the Hop Pole and the Hauliers Arms which are both now residential dwellings. Other community pubs that have disappeared over the last few years in the area include the Three Horseshoes and the Don John’s Cross which are both now flats and the World’s End which is being converted into flats. If the Three Crowns is not restored as a pub, locals will have no nearby pubs to visit off the main drag of Church Road

“The Three Crowns was a real community pub with a diverse customer base. We understand that it was profitable but it appears that the owners want to try and cash in on all of its development potential rather than only the part they had promised, and deprive the community of their local pub”.

“The pub also has some interesting internal features. Bristol City Council has adopted policies to protect community pubs and with other local pubs already lost to development, we hope that this planning application will be rejected and the building restored back to a community pub”.

Notes for news editors:

Three Crowns, Blackswarth Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 8AS

See: https://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/698/three-crowns-bristol

Anthony Hannan: 07752 047777

Bristol Pubs Group: 07973 201307

Bristol Pubs Group is made up entirely of local CAMRA volunteers that share a love of the pub and a determination to fight against pub closures. We campaign to save what we believe are viable pubs that are threatened with permanent closure. Bristol & District CAMRA has over 3,700 members.

Bristol City Councils policies to protect community pubs:

BCS 12 In the Bristol Core Strategy policy:

 https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/34540/Core%20Strategy%20WEB%20PDF%20(low%20res%20with%20links)_0.pdf/f350d129-d39c-4d48-9451-1f84713a0ed8

And, more specifically, DM6 in the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies:

 https://www.bristol.gov.uk/documents/20182/34540/BD5605%20Site%20Allocations_MAIN_text%20V8_0.pdf/46c75ec0-634e-4f78-a00f-7f6c3cb68398

About the Three Crowns:

Imagine if you will the scene. The century has just turned and we are now in the 1800s.  George III is king and the area is known as Pyle Marsh in Gloucestershire boasts a fine inn with stables and accommodation for travellers.  Reached by Kepler Lane and overlooking the market gardens of Redfield, a large part of the clientele were the workers from the heavy industry just down the lane in Blackswarth.  It is more than a generation until the Clifton Suspension Bridge is built and longer yet before we see the first railway.

This is when the Three Crowns dates from.  Imagine the conversations down the next two hundred years. The changes that have taken place.  On its very doorstep a whole area grew up and Pyle Marsh became St George. The jurisdiction passed from Gloucestershire to Bristol, a road was laid and one of the Landlords by name of Grindell built the street to the side of the Crowns.  There was extensive building especially to the frontage during the Edwardian period, however much of the original building remains in a mix which tells the history of the inn through the ages. The pavement outside was built as a condition during the building of the 1904 frontage as the Crowns stayed open during the time. The Engineering Brick was sourced from the Blackswarth area which gave the Crowns much of its custom from a century before.

There is the Georgian brick wall to the rear, the bar, original doors and frames and the finest example of the famous Bristol bar backs I have seen. The pub has changed with the times but retained features and fabric from its beginnings and throughout its history. This makes it irreplaceable and entirely unique and worthy of consideration and support from those who wish to preserve our past; not as an artefact but as a living, breathing example of our history.

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