Bottesford fight to make sleeping Red Lion pub roar again

Bid to save the Red Lion in Bottesford.
Bid to save the Red Lion in Bottesford.
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A campaign has been launched to see if villagers want to buy the Red Lion in Bottesford, which faces being converted into two homes.

The Friends of the Red Lion was launched last May with 57 residents. Last week, they won their bid for Melton Borough Council to declare the closed pub an Asset of Community Value, which gives it extra planning protection.

Nottingham-based WTF Projects Ltd applied in August to convert the pub and build two further houses in its car park.

The application said the pub had been losing money and extensive marketing done to attract a buyer so there was no prospect of the building trading viably as a pub. No public interest was shown in alternative community use either.

However, many residents have submitted comments to Melton Council in opposition. They said the application breaches national planning rules by taking away community facilities, adding the Red Lion, built in 1822 is more family-orientated than the two other pubs in the village. Removing the car park for housing will worsen parking problems as Bottesford has 350 new homes allocated for it.

John Shilton, of Friends of the Red Lion, has called on residents to tell Melton Council it opposes the application and urges residents to join the Friends and try and delay the application for six months to give time to assess whether the villagers could raise cash to buy the pub. Bottesford Parish Council agrees the pub should re-open.

Melton Council said the application would not be heard until January 11 at the earliest. Councillors would take the pub’s ACV status into account.