Pub opened again – but just for viewing

AN application has now been made to Mendip District Council to have The Britannia Inn listed as an asset of community value.

The application was submitted by Wells City Council after being worked on by Councillor Theo Butt Philip, who would like the pub to be reopened rather than for the site to be redeveloped for housing.

The Britannia closed 18 months ago when landlords Rob and Karen Rouse retired. It is now up for sale with the Caldecotte Group with an asking price of £350,000, and a viewing morning was held at the pub, on Bath Road, in January.

A number of interested parties took the opportunity to look round the pub, including Wells Voice. The bar areas and skittle alley remain much as they were, with old photographs and Wells in Bloom certificates hanging on the walls, but equipment including beer pipes would need to be reinstalled.

What was once a Gents toilet, with an old condom machine still attached to the wall, is in a poor state, and there are some patches of mould in the bedrooms upstairs.

“It would need some money to be spent on improvements before it could reopen again as a pub,” said Cllr Butt Philip, who also attended the viewing morning.

“I was surprised how good a condition it was in though given how long it has now been empty.”

If the district council agrees to add the pub to their asset of community value register, it would protect it from being sold or demolished for six months. That would give Cllr Butt Philip time to work with the local community and see whether a community group can raise the funds to buy and refurbish the pub. About 30 people have been in touch with him so far to offer support, including financial support.

“There have been varieties of levels of interest and levels of things to offer,” said Cllr Butt Philip. “I need to get people round the table now to discuss things further.”

To join the campaign to save the pub, contact Cllr Butt Philip by emailing

In considering whether to register The Britannia as an asset of community value, the district council must decide whether it “furthered the social wellbeing or interests of the local community”.

Members of the local community can offer their views on the nomination by sending their comments to Ian Munday at Mendip District Council on