Car park of closed pub to be built on

Oxford Mail: The Crown and Thistle pub in Headington The Crown and Thistle pub in Headington

THE future of an Oxford pub is still uncertain after plans to build three homes on its car park were approved.

Oxford City Council has approved proposals for three and four-bedroom homes on the car park of the Crown and Thistle in Old Road, Headington.

The pub has been closed since New Year’s Day 2012, when owner Greene King claimed it was unviable as a business.

Its new owners, identified by the Land Registry as Shinder Pal Singh, Surinder Jeet Kaur and Gurdeep Kaur, of Marston, launched a planning bid in June.

Neighbours who opposed the plans have spoken of their disappointment that the planning application was approved.

Headington resident Stephanie Jenkins said: “My concern is that if they take away the car park, it loses its viability as a community resource.

“I’m not sure it’s ever going to be a pub again, but if they want to turn it into anything like a restaurant, people aren’t going to go there unless they can park.

“There’s no protection for it. It’s not in the conservation area. It’s not listed. They could knock it down tomorrow if they want to.”

In the application, the owners said they would carry out a review of the pub’s viability but have conceded it is “unlikely” to reopen as a traditional pub.

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The planning application says: “Like many traditional pubs, trade has suffered over recent years and it is unlikely to ever reopen in the same format.

“But like many other pubs, the owners consider it may have a future if it is smartened up with a greater emphasis on serving food.”

When work is completed, the three homes will also cover the site of a shed and an Aunt Sally pitch next to the pub.

Campaign for Real Ale spokesman Tony Goulding said he was cynical about pledges to try to bring the pub back into use.

He said: “From our point of view, you can’t trust developers, and building homes on the car park gives no guarantee that the pub will be saved.”

The present building dates back to the 1800s, but before that the site at the corner of Old Road and Titup Hall Drive was home to a coaching inn for about 200 years.

Called Titup Hall, the inn was on the only route from Oxford to London and in 1669 was the departure point of the first coach to reach the capital in a day.

Queen Elizabeth I was greeted there when she visited Oxford, as was King Charles I in 1624.

The owners of the pub were unavailable for comment.

The planning approval was made by planning officers under delegated powers.

Comments (5)

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12:40pm Wed 28 Aug 13

King Joke says...

Ridiculous - pubs like the Duke and the Cricketers are perfectly viable without a car park, because they provide products and an atmosphere people want.

We've got a housing shortage, so building on an unused car park is just common sense. We need pubs too - where they are properly run they continue to be successful.

As I recall, the C&T didn't let dogs in, and this in the pub closest to Shotover - commercial suicide.
Ridiculous - pubs like the Duke and the Cricketers are perfectly viable without a car park, because they provide products and an atmosphere people want. We've got a housing shortage, so building on an unused car park is just common sense. We need pubs too - where they are properly run they continue to be successful. As I recall, the C&T didn't let dogs in, and this in the pub closest to Shotover - commercial suicide. King Joke

8:02am Thu 29 Aug 13

Geoff Roberts says...

"We've got a housing shortage, so building on an unused car park is just common sense."

Except when the new residents need to drive cars and then have to park the cars somewhere.
"We've got a housing shortage, so building on an unused car park is just common sense." Except when the new residents need to drive cars and then have to park the cars somewhere. Geoff Roberts

8:18am Thu 29 Aug 13

King Joke says...

We need houses more than we need cars, so just get on and build them.

Wood Farm is served by twelve buses an hour , so is hardly a remote backwater.
We need houses more than we need cars, so just get on and build them. Wood Farm is served by twelve buses an hour [between them serving most of the major employment sites], so is hardly a remote backwater. King Joke

6:29pm Thu 29 Aug 13

Arnold.Brewer says...

I am sure with proper management and a reasonable rent this pub could be made profitable. It has surely suffered at the hands of Greene King as have other old Morrells houses.
I understand the need for houses and they will of course add numbers to a future pub clientele , this part of Headington does have a significant catchment area for those wishing a decent evening out by foot,bicycle or bus.
I am sure with proper management and a reasonable rent this pub could be made profitable. It has surely suffered at the hands of Greene King as have other old Morrells houses. I understand the need for houses and they will of course add numbers to a future pub clientele , this part of Headington does have a significant catchment area for those wishing a decent evening out by foot,bicycle or bus. Arnold.Brewer

8:35am Fri 30 Aug 13

King Joke says...

Quite right Arnold, which is why houses, or flats, and the pub can coexist side-by-side; the space is available for both.

You're right about Greene King, useless greedy nerks.
Quite right Arnold, which is why houses, or flats, and the pub can coexist side-by-side; the space is available for both. You're right about Greene King, useless greedy nerks. King Joke

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