SU1487 : Site of Rodbourne Arms, Whitworth Road, Swindon

taken 11 years ago, near to Haydon Wick, Swindon, Great Britain

Site of Rodbourne Arms, Whitworth Road, Swindon
Site of Rodbourne Arms, Whitworth Road, Swindon
A few weeks after this one was taken SU1487 : Rodbourne Arms, Whitworth Road, Swindon and 106 years old pub has been demolished to make way for a food supermarket. More about this below...
The Rodbourne Arms

This is how the local newspaper, the Swindon Advertiser, reported the recent past and likely future of the pub on 15 September 2011:

"AN ICONIC but decrepit pub is to be turned into a supermarket.

The Rodbourne Arms has faced flagging fortunes in recent years, and now has a date with the wrecking ball after the council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for it to be replaced by a frozen food store.

Farmfoods bought the pub from Punch Taverns earlier in the year and has now been given the go-ahead to get to work.

There was a mood of resignation at the council meeting on Tuesday night, with many agreeing that it was a sad loss, but there was little alternative.

Planning officer David Dewart told the committee the building, now derelict, had become a “dangerous structure”, and the Advertiser reported in April how the owners had been forced to seal it after thieves raided it.

Jenny Millin (Lab, Moredon), said: “I’m disappointed to lose such a focal point of the area, and I had hoped, in my heart of hearts, that is might have been preserved as an interesting landmark.

“The building has been allowed to deteriorate into just an eyesore, and it’s beyond economical repair now.”

Coun Colin Lovell (Con, Moredon), said: “It is an iconic building for the area. But I do appreciate that it hasn’t been a successful pub in recent years, which has been a shame.

“I don’t know what the solution is for this site, but I do accept that it is going to be a business solution at the end of the day.”

Coun Wren (Con, Moredon) said: “Something needs doing to it, and I would rather see it demolished and put to good use.”

Resident Les White, 75, of Mulberry Grove, has been living in the area since the mid-1960s, and has fond memories of the pub as it used to be.

He said: “You have to go back about 15 years since it was a proper British pub. It’s deteriorated. It looked a dump.”

The council had hoped that it would be possible to turn the pub into a series of shops with flats on the upper floor.

Concerns were voiced about a possible increase in traffic in the area if it was turned into a supermarket, but Farmfoods property director William McCreadie said: “The council’s preferred design option is to have multiple shops with flats above, something that could lead to a more intensive highways use than our application.

“I do believe this application, if granted, would strengthen this local centre. And the creation of 15 local jobs in a sustainable location would be beneficial too.”

Standing on Cheney Manor Road, the pub was constructed in 1905.

It is not known exactly when work will begin, but one of the conditions imposed was that a “full historical survey” be carried out on the site before bulldozers move in."

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SU1487, 42 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 6 October, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 6 October, 2011
Geographical Context
Suburb, Urban fringe  Derelict, Disused  Construction, Development 
Demolition site   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 140 871 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:34.9876N 1:47.9431W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 139 871
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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