Locals mourn as 340 year-old village pub to be turned into flats

The Newbridge Inn will be partially knocked down and subdivided to form two apartments.

Edinburgh locals mourn as 340 year-old village pub to be turned into flats LDRS

An Edinburgh village pub with a history stretching back over 300 years is to be turned into flats as locals mourn a “great loss” to the community.

The Newbridge Inn, one of the city’s oldest public houses, will be partially knocked down and subdivided to form two apartments after revised plans put to the council were approved.

Four new houses will also be built on the site as part of the project.

However heritage experts have said the proposals fail to demonstrate “a sufficient understanding of the importance of this listed building or its history”.

The Inn closed its doors for the last time last April due to the business struggling to recover after lockdown and running at a loss, previous operators said.

Local councillor Kevin Lang said there had been hopes that a new operator would “come in and return the Inn back to its former glory,” but added: “Now that won’t be possible”.

The existing C-listed building was constructed in 1895 however some portions date back to the original pub founded in 1683 on land owned by Archibald Hope of Raukellour.

Last year the plans were revised to reduce the height of the new houses and give them a “traditional aesthetic that is characteristic of the area” after concerns were raised by planners. The application was then resubmitted to the council and the green light was given earlier this month.

Some locals wrote to the local authority to object to the loss of the historic Inn. “The pub is big part of the village and would be a great loss to everyone in the area,” one said. “I don’t feel changing it to two flats would benefit the community. The pub is a local meeting point and has always been an inn.”

Another wrote: “The Newbridge Inn is the hub of our community and the only public house in this village.”

The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) said the building makes a “significant contribution to the history and character of the area”.

It said removal of the inn’s original front door, chimneys and fireplaces would be “highly objectionable” and added that overall the proposal “would be of detriment to the building and does not exhibit a sufficient understanding of the importance of this listed building or its history”.

This view was not shared by city planners who concluded the works were acceptable and would “preserve the character and setting of nearby listed buildings”.

Councillor Lang, who represents Newbridge, said: “It a real shame that what was once a popular and well used place for local people to meet is going to be lost.

“There’s a significant need for new housing here, which is why I opposed the recent decision of SNP and Conservative councillors on the Planning Committee to turn over land allocated for new housing in the village to an industrial storage park. However, communities also need facilities and services.

“There had always been hope that a new operator would come in and return the Inn back to its former glory. Now that won’t be possible.”

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