Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Stephen Williams MP calls for local landmark to be saved from bulldozers

9.58.28am BST (GMT +0100) Mon 17th Jul 2006

Stephen Williams MP and Cllr Jon Rogers outside the doomed Ashley Court Hotel (photography: Tim Pollard)

Cllr Jon Rogers and Stephen Williams MP believe the Ashley Court Hotel should not be demolished

Local Liberal Democrats have backed residents fighting to save a landmark building in Ashley Down. The Ashley Court Hotel on Ashley Hill is under threat of demolition. The owner wants to replace it with a block of flats. Local residents are furious that the owner is attempting to demolish the building before securing planning permission.

Bristol West MP Stephen Williams and Ashley ward councillors Shirley Marshall and Jon Rogers have issued a joint statement calling on the owner to cease demolition preparations and to wait for the outcome of his planning application.

The statement reads:

"We believe that the Ashley Court Hotel must be saved. This landmark building is a valued part of the local townscape. It enhances Ashley Hill and its prominent location means that it can be seen from St Werburghs and across the city. Until its recent closure the hotel was a popular local venue. Its terrace was often packed on a summer evening. The hotel could have a viable future as a bar and restaurant, serving St Andrews, Ashley Down, Montpelier and St Werburghs. The owner must understand that we will vigorously oppose any application for a new block of flats on this key hillside location. We will oppose any building that occupies a larger part of the site or is of greater height than the existing hotel. The best way forward is for the owner to come up with plans that restore the existing building and reopen it for community use. The owner will have nothing to gain from pressing forward with his existing plans. He will benefit greatly from working in harmony with local residents."

The hotel is believed to date from the 1870s. It is not listed and lies just outside the Montpelier Conservation area. This means that it can be demolished without planning permission. However, approval will be needed for any new building to be erected in its place.

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Next news story: Stephen Williams MP takes part in graffiti clean up action (Mon 17th Jul 2006).

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