Warwick residents are campaigning to stop a much-loved pub in Warwick from being turned into a private house.
In September last year, the owners of the Punch Bowl in The Butts had to close the pub for 'foreseeable future' citing the latest Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the government.
Now a ‘change of use’ planning application has been lodged to change the pub into a private dwelling because the owners do not believe that it can be economically viable even as after
Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
Ellie Leech, who is leading the campaign to Save the Punch Bowl, said: “The Punchbowl is such a special place; it’s been a tavern for over two hundred years.
"There are so few buildings with its wonderful heritage and conserving it would be such an asset to the town.
"It’s unique in its space, the perfect venue for live music, building a tremendous atmosphere for big sporting events, and for those big family and friend’s gatherings we’ve all been so looking forward to.
“There are people who want to buy The Punch Bowl and really see it as a viable business, especially with the hotel rooms, and want to make it a success for the town.
"With more people working from home, parking in its proximity is so much easier than it used to be.
"It’s always been a hub for the Folk Festival, let’s get this wonderful Warwick another reason to visit.”
Dave Skinner, Warwick District Councillor for Saltisford and Warwick Town Councillor, who is supporting the campaign said: “For over 200 years, the Punch Bowl has been serving the residents of Warwick.
"Right up to the start of the pandemic it was being run successfully as a very popular live music venue, sports bar, independent ale House as well as a B&B.
"Now as we hopefully are coming out of a lockdown, it deserves its chance to be all of those things once again, particularly as there very few examples of these left.
“This is why I will be objecting to the change of use application as it still can prove its worth as a great pub and vital asset to the Warwick community.”
So far the planning application on Warwick District Council's planning portal has more than 120 objection comments and one supporting comment.
Residents can now join a new Facebook group ‘Save the Punch Bowl’ at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/957997864950805To view or comment on the plans go to Warwick District Council's planning portal and search: W/21/0408