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New homes may be built on site of pub
TIME could soon be called on a troubled pub after plans were submitted to demolish it and build new houses on the site.
The Queensfield, in Stratton, closed in June after several difficult years and, if proposals get the go-ahead, its last pint has been poured.
An application has been put forward to replace the pub and its car park with eight houses, in four semi-detached buildings.
It will bring an end to several miserable years for the once popular pub as several managers tried and failed to make a profit.
Since re-opening in 2009, the Queensfield has closed several times, first in 2011 and then again this year.
When it shut in the summer, the owner, Enterprise Inns, said it was working to find new tenants to run the site.
But it now appears it has taken the decision to wash its hands of failing business.
John Doyle, 49, ran the pub from 2009 until 2011, when he was forced to close after failing to make a profit.
The part-time taxi driver believes there are a number of reasons why he, and landlords since, were not successful.
He said: “The simple fact is it doesn’t matter how busy or full the pub is, if you have to pay everything out in costs and bills then it’s not going to work.
“When I was at the Queensfield there was so much I had to pay out there was no chance of making money. “The rent was high as well as the cost of actually buying the beer in the first place.
“On top of that there were the business rates which meant no matter what I did, or the people after me, there were always high costs to pay.
“It seems that while everyone at the bottom is working hard, those above are doing nothing to help.”
The application is currently being considered by the council’s planning department and if successful will be the latest Swindon pub in recent months to be turned into residential accommodation.
Earlier this year The Grapes Hotel, in Faringdon Road, was turned into flats and an application has also been put forward to convert the nearby 12 Bar.
John feels this seems to be the way for many pubs in residential areas. He said: “It’s a shame to see the Queensfield go, as it is with any pub, but I think a lot of people aren’t going to pubs like this anymore.
“Things have changed quite a lot in what people want to do and if people aren’t using pubs then they will go. “I was told that if I had been in charge of the pub ten to 15 years ago then I wouldn’t have had a problem.”
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