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Gloucestershire Business News

Permission given to convert Stroud pub

Owners of a Stroud deli have now heard whether their decision to convert a former pub to house their business - before planning permission was granted - was the right one.

Work began to convert the former 17th century Swan public house in the town's Shambles Conservation Area into a Deli earlier this year and Armadeli is already open and proving popular.

But now the owner, Gloucester business woman Armorel Willoughby, can rest assured she also has the desired planning paperwork after Stroud District Council gave permission, retrospectively.

The district council had previously described as "unfortunate" that work to convert the former pub starting before its decision.

There had been pressure from some in the town to halt the development of what was The Swan into two retail units until the former landlord showed more proof it was no longer viable as a watering hole.

"Marketing evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that there is no demand for a continued community use of the premises," said the council in a letter referring to any future as a public house and outlining its decision.

The premises had been empty for four years before Armadeli arrived on the scene.

A letter published by the council and signed by Edward Toomer of Four County Inns explained how his business came to realise just why it had proved an up-hill task to keep the pub viable.

"We purchased post auction. Our suspicions were aroused when, on completion, and first day of occupation, there was blood on the floor following a disturbance the night before. I learned this had not been infrequent and complaints had been numerous," said Mr Toomer.

According to the paperwork there remains at least nine licences bars or public houses within the town centre.

Armadeli in fact stocks a range of organic wines, beers and ciders - as well as cheeses, charcuterie and accompaniments.

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