Punch Taverns unveils plans to build homes on car park of Ye Olde George

The George has unveiled plans to build homes on a part of its current car park that it no longer needs.  Punch Taverns, its owner, has submitted an application to build 4 new apartments on the site and a new customer car park on its current beer garden.

The Colnbrook Apple Fair 2014, and other village events, have been held at the George.

Punch Taverns, owner of Ye Olde George pub, has submitted a detailed planning application to Slough Borough Council involving building homes on part of its current site.

The company wants to build four apartments, two one-bed and two two-bed, with associated landscaping and resident car parking, on the existing car park.

Punch says the George’s current beer garden and car park combined are more space than it needs.  The existing beer garden, at 645 square metres, is “surplus to user requirement”.  The pub operator, which currently runs around 1,300 pubs around the UK, says it wants to make more efficient use of its site through the re-location of a customer car park to the east, on land currently used as the beer garden.

It is proposed to create a new 147 square metre beer garden directly to the rear of the public house itself, where there is already an outside terrace.

The proposed re-configuration and landscaping will include separate parking bays to serve the apartments and a small communal garden to the rear for residents.

Punch Taverns plans to build 4 apartments on it current car park.

Punch Taverns plans to build 4 apartments on it current car park.

The proposals involve no internal or external alterations to the pub itself, a grade II listed building. However, it is proposed to provide additional landscaping around both the pub and the proposed apartments.  There would also be landscaping to provide separation between the proposed dwellings and between the pub parking facilities and outside seating areas.  Existing brick boundary walls will afford privacy to the residents. 1.2m high picket fencing is proposed between beer garden boundaries and car park.

Since the car park is accessed via the Vicarage Way car park, the application would require a right of way over land within the Council’s ownership.  The Council itself submitted an option of building six homes on the Village Hall car park during its Call for Sites as part of the new Local Plan.

Punch’s application says the loss of part of the site to the pub would have no impact on operations:

“We have reviewed the proposed development with our operations team and identified land that is surplus to Old George’s needs. We are therefore extremely confident that the proposed development will have no material impact on the operations or the future viability of the Old George”.

It adds that the future of the pub is not in doubt:

Punch Taverns remains committed to the future of The Old George as underscored by our significant investment on the public house over the last few years

The application tackles head on the issue of whether it appropriate to build homes so close to the pub, suggesting it is “appropriate and acceptable”:

“In this part of Colnbrook, it is not unusual for residential properties to be located in close proximity to commercial uses. Such relationships help create vibrant communities and help support the local economy, as well as providing housing in highly sustainable locations”.

No date for determination of the application, which was registered on 16th July, has yet been set.

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