Former pub could be converted into housing

The former Chequers pub

The former Chequers pub

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

IN the latest blow to the city’s pub trade, a prominent former pub could be converted into six homes if a planning bid succeeds.

Oxford City Council has received an application for planning permission to divide up Chequers in St Thomas Street.

The pub, known more recently as “Maroon”, has been empty for more than a year.

The proposal has prompted a mixed response from residents. Gareth Williams, landlord of the nearby Honey Pot pub, said he welcomed the plans.

He said: “There’s absolutely no demand for it to be a pub again as far as I can tell, and rather than it being empty, it’s better that it’s converted into something useful.

“I think houses are a good idea. A lot of flat buildings look really anonymous, so at least as houses it would look a bit better.”

But Councillor Susanna Pressel, who represents the area for Labour on the county council, said the applicant could have a tough job getting permission.

She said: “The city council has a policy of resisting the loss of pubs, and only gives permission for a pub to change if there is clear evidence of a lack of viability.

“I’m not sure they will be able to prove that lack of viability, because if you look back 10 years ago, it was thriving.”

In a statement to the city council, planning agent Peter Uzzell from the John Phillips Planning Consultancy said a viability assessment had been carried out by licenced property surveyors Teague.

He said: “The Teague assessment demonstrates that following marketing there is no commercial interest in continuing the use of the building as a public house and such use would not in any event be viable.”

Plans were originally submitted for flats, but this was changed to houses after the Environment Agency informed the applicant the building was in a flood risk area.

Comments (6)

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6:08pm Mon 13 Aug 12

sparky123456 says...

hows this 'the latest' blow?? I remember it as the Chequers back in about 98 and it was busy. seemed to go downhill fast around 2001/2 and it's been closed for about 3 years hasn't it? within spitting distance you've got jam factory, honey pot, cafe coco at the Royal all the chav bars of park end st.
hows this 'the latest' blow?? I remember it as the Chequers back in about 98 and it was busy. seemed to go downhill fast around 2001/2 and it's been closed for about 3 years hasn't it? within spitting distance you've got jam factory, honey pot, cafe coco at the Royal all the chav bars of park end st. sparky123456
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Mon 13 Aug 12

MrSooty says...

"The city council has a policy of resisting the loss of pubs".Excuse me?If that's the case then why is the city council not supporting the poor publican on Balfour Rd in his fight to save his business with the marquee he's trying to keep.A bit of joined up thinking from OCC really wouldn't go amiss.
"The city council has a policy of resisting the loss of pubs".Excuse me?If that's the case then why is the city council not supporting the poor publican on Balfour Rd in his fight to save his business with the marquee he's trying to keep.A bit of joined up thinking from OCC really wouldn't go amiss. MrSooty
  • Score: 3

6:52pm Mon 13 Aug 12

caz1111 says...

Hasn't Councillor Susanna Pressel noticed the number of empty pubs. People aren't using them. That is the difference over the last 10 years. Obviously the council prefers the boarded up, falling down building - a great impression that gives of the city NOT - just so they can say they are not givint the changer of use permission. There are too many pubs for the present day demand. Wake up & get your heads out of the sand!
Hasn't Councillor Susanna Pressel noticed the number of empty pubs. People aren't using them. That is the difference over the last 10 years. Obviously the council prefers the boarded up, falling down building - a great impression that gives of the city NOT - just so they can say they are not givint the changer of use permission. There are too many pubs for the present day demand. Wake up & get your heads out of the sand! caz1111
  • Score: 1

7:05pm Mon 13 Aug 12

Dilligaf2010 says...

I'm all for it being turned into homes, providing they don't destroy the historic character of the building, and change the external colours ;-)
I'm all for it being turned into homes, providing they don't destroy the historic character of the building, and change the external colours ;-) Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

9:02pm Mon 13 Aug 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

It's been empty for ages. Very poor location for a pub with a narrow pavement and very busy road in front of it. Even when it was open (which tended to be times to suit the owner) the place was empty.

I'm not sure why houses would be less problematic than apartments for flooding... In a sensibile city, the ground floor would be used for undercroft parking with the 1st and 2nd floors for apartments.
It's been empty for ages. Very poor location for a pub with a narrow pavement and very busy road in front of it. Even when it was open (which tended to be times to suit the owner) the place was empty. I'm not sure why houses would be less problematic than apartments for flooding... In a sensibile city, the ground floor would be used for undercroft parking with the 1st and 2nd floors for apartments. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

8:52am Tue 14 Aug 12

bart-on simpson says...

Resisting the loss of pubs? What an odd policy, the implications rebound inside my head without resolving in any logical/ethical/comm
ercial meaning.
Resisting the loss of pubs? What an odd policy, the implications rebound inside my head without resolving in any logical/ethical/comm ercial meaning. bart-on simpson
  • Score: 0

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