CONCERNS have been raised over plans to transform an old skittle alley and expand a historic hotel and pub in Yate.

A planning application was recently submitted to South Gloucestershire Council to build three new separate hotel rooms at the White Lion Hotel.

Plans - which were put forward by applicant Raja Rizwan - include extending and refurbishing the former one-storey skittle alley building.

It is understood the building would be partly demolished and replaced with three self-contained units.

Floor plans for each separate unit show space for a kitchen living room area and a bathroom on the ground floor as well as a bedroom on the second floor.

The application states, if approved, the new rooms would help "attract customers and tourism" from outside of South Gloucestershire and also have a "positive effect" on the business.

Gazette Series: Plans have been revealed to expand the White Lion Hotel - photo from 2021Plans have been revealed to expand the White Lion Hotel - photo from 2021 (Image: Google Maps)

According to its website, the grade-two-listed inn already has 10 hotel rooms, two bars, a functions room, lounge and a dining area.

The White Lion - which dates back to 1644 - is also home to Italian restaurant Antica Roma, which is located on the ground floor of the pub and opened in May last year.

However, Yate Town Council objected to the application over concerns about asbestos, demolition work and lack of information about cycle and bin storage.

The town council also expressed worries about the heritage impact on the listed pub, as well as the impact on public use and access as the site adjoins the council's Heritage Centre.

Speaking in its objection statement, a spokesperson said: "The skittle alley has a single skin wall and asbestos in the roof.

"It is not suitable for conversions into habitable spaces or erection of a second floor without the complete demolition of the existing building, which is not shown in the plans."

They continue: "The proposed garden space at the rear would involve the construction of additional walls, further fragmenting the historic curtilage.

"There are also concerns about the relationship between these units and the adjoining public house / restaurant."

Meanwhile, two neighbours - who have lived near the pub for 25 years - welcomed the plans but raised concerns about 'anomalies' in the application.

They said: "We were delighted to see the owners of the property bringing the premises back into life after a number of years of neglect and making a success of the new venture.

"However, having studied the application, we have a number of concerns.

"Although supportive of the applicant's desire to continue to maintain the viability of the business, we object to the proposals in their current form.

"This is due to the heritage impact on the premises.

"We believe a smaller in scale conversion of the existing building would present the applicant with a fillip to maintaining their operations without undue impact on the historic building and we would be supportive of this approach."

Gazette Series: The old skittle alley at the White Lion pub could be transformed into three new hotel roomsThe old skittle alley at the White Lion pub could be transformed into three new hotel rooms (Image: White Lion Hotel / Studio Yaqub)

A planning document reads: "The building is superfluous to needs for the restaurant and would be better amalgamated into the hotel but was formerly known as the skittle alley, then used for additional seating and now vacant space that is ideal for repurposing.

"It is worth noting that the White Lion has a thriving business on the remainder of the ground floor and therefore seeks this proposal to further enhance their business.

"We firmly believe that this proposal represents an acceptable and positive contribution to the area."

You can read the full application quoting P24/00128/F or see here -