Residents saddened by loss of iconic Warwick building

Residents have been saddened by the loss of one of Warwick's iconic buildings.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 11:09 am

Last Friday (November 22) demolition work started at the Great Western Pub site in Coventry Road.

The former pub had been earmarked for housing and in 2016 plans to convert the building into homes was given the go ahead.

However in August 2017 a huge fire broke out inside the building leaving the site in a derelict state.

How the former Great Western pub looked after the fire.

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In pictures: The demolition of one of Warwick's historic buildings

Because of the damage caused by the fire the developer said that a conversion was no longer possible and they submitted new plans to demolish the building, which were given planning permission in January 2019.

Now that the pub has been demolished, many residents have expressed their sadness at the loss of the building.

John Holland, a county councillor, had hoped the building would be converted into housing prior to the fire.

The site of the former Great Western pub after it was demolished last Friday. Photo by Geoff Ousbey.

He said: "The former Great Western pub was an iconic building but it was in a terrible state and the site needed clearing up.

"The original planning permission that was granted was to keep the building and convert it, which I supported as a town councillor. It should not have been left so long before the site was improved as the building could have been saved but the fire did a great deal of damage and permission was granted for demolition.

"I think it is a great shame the original planning application from three years ago was not implemented.

"We could have avoided this unnecessary length of time being left with a derelict building."

The site of the former Great Western pub after it was demolished last Friday. Photo by Geoff Ousbey.

James Mackay, on behalf of the Warwick Society, said: "Everybody in Warwick regrets the loss of a building that has been a landmark for well over 100 years.

"Unfortunately planning permission was given by Warwick District Council for a development of town houses, which do not include retaining the damaged structure of the pub so demolition became inevitable.

"The approved plans of the replacement buildings are too dense of a development and lack any architectural distinction at all.

"The green space of the pub garden will also be lost forever."

Residents have also spoken out on social media about the demolition.

One person said: "It was also a great pub and should have been restored and maintained."

Another added: "Another piece of history gone. Part of the scene of ancient, historic Warwick."

Others also said that the pub's demolition was a shame but that it had to be done because of the state the building was left in.

One person said: "It's a shame to see it gone but it was an eye sore..the first thing you saw after coming out of the train station."

The plans that were given the go-ahead earlier this year will see four town houses built where the former pub stood as well as an additional four houses built along the Station Road side of the site.