PLANS to redevelop a pub closed for more than a decade are set to be approved by councillors next week.

The Crown & Thistle in Old Road, Headington, took its last orders on New Year’s Eve in 2011 when former owner Greene King didn’t renew the pub’s licence after deeming the business ‘unviable’.

Before then, there had been an operating pub at the site for 400 years.

Oxford City Council’s planning committee is recommended to approve an application and grant permission in principle to build between seven and nine homes on the site.

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The proposal originally included the demolition of the pub, however the application was amended to retain the building after it was added to the Oxford Heritage Asset Register, meaning it is now locally listed.

The pub has been derelict since it closed in 2011, with a council report outlining how the building has fallen into disrepair.

“The dereliction is the result of neglect of the site since it has been left vacant,” the report states.

“The result is that the decay is evident both internally and externally.

“Internally, at ground floor level where the pub operated, there is significant damp, damage and debris throughout the building as well as there being a large hole in the floor.

“Officers were not able to access the upper floors but understand that area is still in a habitable condition.

“Externally, the garden is overgrown, the render is peeling off the building, many of the windows have been broken and boarded up, and there appears to be some structural damage to parts of the buildings on the site.”

Oxford Mail: The Crown & Thistle pub in Headington. Picture: Ed NixThe Crown & Thistle pub in Headington. Picture: Ed Nix

The report adds: “The applicant has, since purchasing the property, not found an operator for the site nor operated the site as a pub themselves and have let the property deteriorate to the point that significant repairs and refurbishment would be needed to bring the building back into use as a pub.”

Redevelopment of the site would ensure the area is not a ‘flashpoint of anti-social behaviour’, the report states.

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 was the departure point for the first coach to reach the capital in a day from the city in 1669.

The application can be viewed on the city council’s planning portal, using the reference number 22/00040/PIP.

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

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