We were all extremely pleased yesterday to hear that planning and listed building consent has been granted by Chiltern District Council for The White Lion public house in St Leonards, which is Grade II Listed. This extension and renovation project will see the historic building rejuvenated and the pub re-open for business – hopefully by 2019.
Our design details a replacement rear extension to allow the bar and trading area to be extended and refurbished, and a number of repairs to the fabric of the building to safeguard it for the future. Care was taken to retain the original charm of the building, whilst addressing some significant building condition issues.
The pub has been closed for business for some years now, and since a new owner took it on we have assisted them with securing consent – which can be a painstaking process with a listed building. Strong support for the application was also given by the local Save the White Lion campaign group and the Mid-Chilterns branch of CAMRA.
On hearing the news, owner Mandy Grimwood said: “Thank you to everyone at PCMS Design for all your hard work to get the planning decision we were hoping for. We are now looking ahead to the future with optimism, when we can start trading again.”
We are working hard at the moment to help get a popular Grade II Listed Chilterns pub back into operation and trading again. The White Lion in St Leonards, which is much loved by local residents in the surrounding hill top villages, has had a chequered history in the last few years. It’s been closed for business since January 2014. However, the future is now looking much brighter.
The White Lion was bought by Mandy Grimwood as a business opportunity in June 2017. Mandy appointed PCMS Design to advise on the potential for the building; it was clear that in order to be a viable business the whole building required renovation and extension. Our design proposal includes the demolition of a poor quality rear toilet block and reconfiguring and enlarging the public bar and restaurant area, whilst retaining the pub’s historic character. All areas of the pub are affected by the proposed works, including the landlord’s accommodation on the first floor.
A planning application with listed building consent is currently under consideration by Chiltern District Council. Director of PCMS Design Alex Bond said: “Everyone involved in this unique project is very excited by the prospect of the pub being put back on the map, and so far it has the support of many neighbours and several groups, including the ‘Save The White Lion’ campaign. It is rare to get the opportunity to help open a pub, and we hope to see it re-open next year.”
PCMS Design has recently been involved in an interesting pub-based project in the Iffley Fields area of Oxford. The Chester is an old Edwardian building with lots of character and period detail, situated on a corner in terraced residential streets. The pub closed in the summer of 2012, but an enterprising developer took on the site, simultaneously gaining planning permission to renovate and extend the pub and also to construct a pair of semi-detached houses in the car park.
Following extensive refurbishment work and also the demolition of the old kitchen and its reconstruction on a different footprint, the pub has now re-opened. Our role was to discharge a number of planning conditions, procure suitable local builders and also to provide project management and CDM services during the renovation. The build involved a collaborative effort between the developer, builder, pub tenant and ourselves.
The new tenants have an innovative approach to running the pub, which provides a meeting place for the local community during the day, incorporating a café and corner shop stocking local produce. Then in the evenings and at weekends, The Chester transforms into a pub serving a lively and eclectic menu and real ales. The interiors are modern and welcoming.
We wish the new owner and tenants every success for the future.