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Gloucestershire Business News

Plans approved for Fleece Hotel outdoor bar

Gloucester's historic Fleece Hotel is set to welcome back customers to an outdoor area after a planning application has been approved.

Developers Dowdeswell Estates submitted an application in February for what it said would be an "outdoor cafe, bar, artisan food outlet and community space".

Occupying a prime position on Westgate Street, The Fleece opened in 1497 as one of three major inns in the city to house pilgrims visiting the tomb of King Edward II.

After years of lying vacant it was purchased by Gloucester City Council in 2011 with the aim of bringing it back to life. 

Work had started on waterproofing and repairs before a fire in 2017 caused extensive damage and saw the pause button pressed.

And in the first phase of redevelopment for the site, it was that a courtyard within the hotel grounds would be used for up to three years as a sister venue to Cheltenham's Outdoor Inn.

A post on the Outdoor Inn's website said: "You lucky little devils, you've got a London bus parked up on site, that is being turned into a bar, to serve this massive courtyard space.

"As the site undergoes major refurbishment, we're going to party like is 1497 on the corner of Bull Street and Cross Keys Lane. That's where you'll find The Outdoor Inn at The Fleece."

Despite several negative responses to the application, suggesting there was already sufficient provision for this type of use in the area already, there were 12 letters of support and it was granted permission on April 16.

Summarised in the decision report, public comments said the project "would be a fantastic addition to the city centre and knowing how successful their Cheltenham branch is, no doubt it would raise the bar of quality in that area, turning a derelict site into an attraction."

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