February 14, 2022 3.40 pm

Campaigners make last effort bid to save “important” community pub

Council meeting to decide on site’s future this week

Campaigners fighting to save a Lincoln West End Pub from being turned into flats are hoping to rally the troops this week.

Nigel Delahey has applied to the City of Lincoln Council to change the use of the West End Tap into two maisonettes, including the demolition of rear outbuildings to create a two storey extension and another home.

However, opponents to the plans say the business is an important and viable community venue which will impact negatively on the area if lost.

The venue closed in early January 2021 after previously being taken over by local lad Dan Neale in August 2019.

A post from Jae Jenkins Scott on Facebook this weekend called on locals to attend a meeting on Thursday at 8pm at the Queen in the West.

“It’s not about the flats… it’s about the pub. It’s our choice – our alternatives,” he said.

“It’s another place where the lonely, the lost or the old can connect. It’s one of our hubs. Our pubs are what we are as Linconites and Brits – this was literally one of the best music venues in the city… here in our West End.

“What happens next is with the wind. But we need you, It’s not gone. We could stop this. But a few of us are going into the planning meeting in a fortnight and we’d like to hear from you. Your voices would galvanise us.”

The Keep the Tap Running group has also applied for the pub to become an asset of community value.

The group has been backed by Carholme Ward Councillor Neil Murray, who previously said it was a historic building and called on the owners to “think again”.

“I’m hoping [the applicants] stop it now because there’s so much opposition, and I know there’s people that want to reopen it as well as a going concern,” he said.

Former Lincoln MP and Councillor Karen Lee has also backed the latest moves, saying on Facebook: “This. It would be a huge shame to lose this community hub.”

More than 60 public comments have been made to the application on the City of Lincoln Council website.

Lincolnshire Design Consultancy, however, on behalf of Mr Delahey, said the move is justified.

In documents to the council, they said between £250-275,000 had been invested in the pub to keep it running, but “the now current owner realised that the time and investment put into this facility would unlikely ever be recovered.”

They blamed unsustainable running costs and the business being “economically unviable” due to poor trading in the area, exacerbated by cheap supermarket alcohol.

They also noted: “Criminal activity, violence and confrontation with threats to personal safety within the premises, and complaints from the council on noise levels have all been associated with the pub, as well as antisocial behaviour outside of the premises.”

“The loss of the pub in this location is unlikely to have a detrimental effect on the community and the area generally. It could be argued that it may reduce of eradicate some of the issues this area previously faced in respect of drink, and crime,” they said.

They note the license had previously almost been revoked – but did not go into detail as to why “for legal reasons”.

The campaigners have since submitted a response to the document.