Eyesore pub in Bristol suburb to be finally knocked down

The pub has been purchased by Bristol City Council to make way for homes
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A burnt-out pub which has been described as a scar on the centre of a Bristol suburb will finally be knocked down. The Gainsborough pub has been bought by Bristol City Council under a compulsory purchase order.

The pub, on Gainsborough Square in Lockleaze, has been closed since 2010 and since then has been severely damaged by a fire. While work has taken place to spruce up the square opposite, the pub has been a blot on the area’s landscape.

But now it’s set to be pulled down after the city council finally pushed its purchase of the pub over the line. It ends a long tussle with the owner, who turned down several approaches from the council to buy it.

The boarded-up site will provide some of the land for 47 affordable homes in Branwhite Close. A privately-owned home in Branwhite Close has also been purchased by the council for the work, with the resident moved out.

There will also be space for a non-residential unit facing Gainsborough Square - although the exact use of this is yet to be decided. There are calls locally for a cafe or community space.

Around 1,000 new homes are being built in Lockleaze, with developments in Bonnington Walk, Shacklton Heights and Dovercourt Road.

The Gainsborough pub in Lockleaze has lain empty since it closed in 2010 The Gainsborough pub in Lockleaze has lain empty since it closed in 2010
The Gainsborough pub in Lockleaze has lain empty since it closed in 2010

Announcing the purchase of the pub, Councillor Tom Renhard, cabinet member for housing, said: “As well as enabling the housing development, the demolition of the pub will come as a relief to local people, as it has become an eyesore and a target for flytipping and graffiti in recent years.”

Demolition work is due to start later this year, with work on the new homes likely to begin next Spring.

The news has been welcomed by Lockleaze councillor David Wilcox. He said: “We are constantly hearing from residents of Lockleaze that they have been waiting for more information than five years for the council to purchase the Gainsborough pub. We welcome the purchase, so that this scar on the square can be removed so that new retail and other opportunities can come to Lockleaze.”