Micro pub plans submitted for ‘heart and soul of the community’

Save Our Local campaigners outside the Napoleon Pub on Fisthtoft Road, Boston. EMN-170806-123414001
Save Our Local campaigners outside the Napoleon Pub on Fisthtoft Road, Boston. EMN-170806-123414001

A pub which community campaigners have called the ‘heart and soul’ of the community could be reduced into a ‘micro pub’ and three homes.

Plans have been submitted to Boston Borough Council to convert the Napoleon, on Fishtoft Road, into a smaller business, with a flat above and an extension to the rear enabling two further dwellings.

A design and access statement, acknowledges the building has been designated as an ‘asset of community value’ following a local campaign.

However, it says the pub was ‘no longer viable’.

The statement says: “The applicants say that the form of development has been very carefully considered in order to preserve the character and appearance of the building and to avoid a substantive impact on the amenity of the adjoining or surrounding occupiers.

“Further, the development of this former public house would provide much-needed housing within Boston.”

It says the Napoleon has ‘had a number of landlords attempt to run it as a going concern and the brewery (Bateman’s) finally abandoned it on to sale of the applicant as a development site’.

It says there were two offers including a ‘café concern’ which dropped out as it could not be demonstrated the existing business was profitable.

The statement adds: “Having regard to the marketing exercise carried out and the fact that a commercial operator pull out of the sale process it is submitted that the public house was no longer viable as a going concern at the time it was sold.

“Having regard to alternative provision for the use there are some 20 other eating and drinking establishments within a reasonable distance of the site.

“Given this the proposal seeks to reduce the size of the public house.

“This will retain the use of part of the building as an Asset of Community Value in a form that is more appropriate to the size and style of modern drinking establishments.”

Campaigners have questioned how the planned micro pub will be able to stay at the heart of the local community.

Paul Galley previously led the campaign to get the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) stating the venue was the ‘heart and soul of the community’.

He told the Standard: “These plans are a joke.

“The pub has been known to host people playing darts and other sports as well as family events in the outside area – I can’t see how this pub can offer anything like that.”

He added: “It’s no compromise at all. I don’t see how that can be viable.”