A LOCAL man has submitted an application to English Heritage in order to protect one of the town’s historic buildings.
John Bowley has written to English Heritage in a bid to protect the Oak Inn on Warminster Road from demolition. However, he is racing against the clock as the inn could be demolished at any time.
The building, which has been taken over by supermarket chain, Aldi, is due to be demolished, along with the now vacant Oval Peugeot garage, to make way for their new supermarket on Warminster Road.
However, after contacting the Wiltshire Historic Building record, John Bowley discovered that the Oak Inn has 16th and 17th Century features, and he says the building has a “real case to be listed”.
As a result, he has now applied for a temporary spot listing from English Heritage which, if successful, could temporarily block the demolition until experts from English Heritage have assessed whether it can be granted listed building status.
Part of Westbury’s
Speaking to White Horse News John Bowley said, “I do not have any issue with Aldi wishing to open their new store, but I think the Oak Inn is part of Westbury’s history and should be saved.
“I spoke with the contractors who are due to take the building down and as far as they were concerned, they were waiting to hear back whether the gas and electricity was all turned off before starting demolition. So it could start at any time. I wrote to English Heritage on Sunday (21st of October) and hopefully, something can be done.”
Another local resident said that he feared the historic Westbury inn and brewhouse would soon be lost forever.
He said, “The Oak Inn has been derelict for a number of years and has fallen into disrepair.
“I am very concerned that these historic buildings may soon be demolished to make way for shoppers’ car parking for a supermarket development.
“I have spoken with two Wiltshire councillors, who, whilst vague on detail, were certain that the Oak Inn buildings are soon to be demolished to make way for the supermarket and its shopper parking. They were insufficiently concerned about the imminent loss of Westbury history and heritage.
“The Oak Inn and brewhouse buildings contain much from the 19th century but I believe that the complex may date back to the 17th century or earlier.
“There has been almost no publicity or background information on the prospective demolition and the events leading to it.
“There seems to have been little local knowledge. The situation now requires urgent attention if the old Oak buildings are to be saved.”
Aldi has received planning consent from Wiltshire Council to build their new store on the Warminster Road site. The Oval Motor Company had been leasing the site from Aldi, but has now moved to a new showroom on the West Wilts Trading Estate.