Bristol city centre’s last remaining pub garden under threat

‘Its removal will be a severe loss’

Fears have been raised over the future of a tucked away pub in Bristol city centre which is set to lose much of its beer garden under plans to redevelop a tower block next to it.

The Cornubia in Temple Street in Redcliffe sits in the shadow of an office building called Canningford House, which developers want to knock down and replace with a higher six-storey office block.

The plans, submitted to Bristol City Council, also include reinstating a medieval walkway called Long Row connecting Victoria Street and Temple Street as part of a transformation of the area. This covered walkway would go through the pub’s beer garden, with seating added at the front of the pub.

Toilets attached to the rear of the pub would also be demolished with a replacement opened in the ground level of the new office block. The plans have been proposed by Boultbee Brooks Real Estate.

However, there has been strong opposition from users of the pub, and Bristol and District CAMRA Pubs Campaigning Group which is concerned over the loss of the beer garden. The garden reopened with artificial grass and new seating just three years ago.

The letter from Bristol and District CAMRA, which named the pub runners up in Bristol Pub of the Year 2022, said: “We object strongly to the loss of most of the pub’s beer garden and using it as part of a public throughfare and the relocation of the pub’s toilets in a separate major building.

The pub garden at the Cornubia which is ‘under threat’ from development plans around itThe pub garden at the Cornubia which is ‘under threat’ from development plans around it
The pub garden at the Cornubia which is ‘under threat’ from development plans around it

“We believe these will have negative effects on the pub’s customers enjoyment of its use, the pub’s management and therefore its future viability.”

The group also raised concerns about larger queues forming at the toilets which could be accessed by non-customers at the pub, and that the outdoor space would be greatly reduced with the smoking area also removed.

Among the other people objecting, one person said: “The Cornubia is the only pub in central Bristol to have a garden; its removal will be a severe loss.” Another person said: “[The removal of the pub’s toilet] would be an astonishing piece of vandalism.”

The Cornubia is a Grade-II listed pub which opened in 1859. It was taken over by the current landlord and lady, Phil and Jacki, in 2010.

The Cornubia sits in the shadow of Canningford HouseThe Cornubia sits in the shadow of Canningford House
The Cornubia sits in the shadow of Canningford House

In supporting documents to the planning application, agents for the applicant Stride Treglown, said The Cornubia had been at the heart of the scheme since its inception.

It said that by reopening the walkway, Long Row, it would ‘enhance the setting’ around the pub. The walkway would also provide an ‘attractive and welcoming’ entrance to the pub which ‘will help encourage more footfall’, said the group.

Plans show new seating will be provided at the front of the pub - although smaller (four tables) than the current space on the pub’s beer garden.

Bristol City Council will make a decision on the planning application in the coming months. A drop-in event to further discuss the plans takes place a The Cornubia on June 7, from 5pm to 7pm.

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