Leamington pub to make way for flats

Nick Ford, the last landlord at the Talbot Inn
Nick Ford, the last landlord at the Talbot Inn

Plans to convert the Talbot Inn in Rushmore Street into two flats have been approved by Warwick District Council’s planning committee.

The pub, which many locals still refer to as ‘Hector’s’ in honour of its former landlord Hector Ashworth, was closed last May after its last landlord, Nick Ford, decided not to renew the pub’s lease, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

With pubs these days it’s all about position, position, position.

Cllr John Cooke

Although five people issued objections before the meeting with concerns about the loss to the community, no-one came to speak against the plans during the meeting itself.

Planning documents submitted on behalf of the applicant Ashley Phelps claimed the pub was unsustainable due to where it was located.

It went on to say: “This public house is in a relatively isolated location, well away from commercial high street facilities and is an inherently unsustainable business proposition.”

Cllr John Cooke (Con, St John’s), chairman of the planning committee, said: “With pubs these days it’s all about position, position, position.”

“We always have to consider these things as a planning application - the truth was there was no reason to reject it.”

The pub had featured in the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Good Pub Guide for the past six years, but this was not enough to stop its gross profits from dropping to around £7,000 per annum.

Mr Ashworth had run the Talbot Inn for 30 years, and often used the pub as a venue for the Jamaican Independence Day Festival and for upcoming bands to play gigs.