Family pub can be demolished

PUBLISHED: 11:51 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

Leon Messam and his wife Jane

Leon Messam and his wife Jane

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application which would see the demolition of a family pub to make way for a block of flats has been approved at a council committee meeting. BGF Properties, the owners of the Chells Family Pub in Chells Way, Stevenage, had applie

A CONTROVERSIAL planning application which would see the demolition of a family pub to make way for a block of flats has been approved at a council committee meeting.

BGF Properties, the owners of the Chells Family Pub in Chells Way, Stevenage, had applied to Stevenage Borough Council for permission to demolish the building and construct a block of eight flats and 12 parking spaces in its place.

On Monday the application was approved at the council's planning and development committee meeting, subject to BGF entering into a section 106 agreement in which it would have to provide financial contributions towards off-site outdoor sports facilities and a children's play space.

Despite the approval of the application the future of the pub is still undecided because although BGF is the freehold owner, another company, Winlease Limited, has a 35-year lease on the pub with 29 years still to run.

BGF must get approval from Winlease and pub landlord Leon Messam and his wife Jane before it can go ahead with the redevelopment.

Chief executive of Winlease, Danny Rogers, said: "Whilst we are aware that the planning application has been approved, we have not received any approach from our landlord.

"Any proposed development of the site will require the mutual consent of both Mr and Mrs Messam and ourselves. We will continue to operate the pub for the foreseeable future under the terms of our lease."

Mr Messam said: "We're rather aggrieved.

"We do provide a service for the community. Pensioners across the road who cannot get here, we take food to them. They'll lose that service.

"We're going to fight to the end and we are not going to give up lightly.

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