FEARS have been raised an historic Stratford pub’s future is under threat following plans to build on its land.
A planning application has been submitted by Punch Partnerships to develop the car park and demolish an outbuilding at The Old Tramway on Shipston Road to build eight homes.
The application states the pub – which opened in 1867 – will remain in business.
But residents have voiced concern at the loss of car parking and green space which make it popular with families.
A petition against developing the land has so far been signed by some 850 people and around 30 residents have objected to the application online.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England added its voice to those against the plans.
A spokesman said: “The custom of the pub, which depends largely on a car-borne clientele, would fall off, the pub might well close and the town would have lost a social centre.
“We consider this application poses a threat to one of the town’s heritage assets, a public house in a pleasant rural setting.
“The Old Tramway, like many other public houses depends for custom on the green area behind it, if this is lost its future is in obvious jeopardy.”
The pub plays host to several charity events throughout the year, which residents say could be cancelled if the outdoor space was developed.
Cohl Warren-Howles, who has spearheaded the campaign, said: “The Old Tramway is a meeting place for all sections of the community. Take away the garden and the car park and the pub will have difficulty in surviving.
“The pub does such a great deal for charity with lots of events that use the garden. There is a large outside festival, a big annual firework event in aid of Brain Tumour Trust and I personally held race night for charity.”
But developers say the land is underused and must be developed.
A spokesman said: “The amenity land and clubhouse to the rear of the clubhouse is deemed surplus to user requirements and the applicant is seeking to make more efficient use of this underutilised area.”
Residents have until Wednesday (January 16) to object to the planning application at www.stratford.gov.uk. People can also sign the petition started by Cohl Warren-Howles by visiting change.org and searching ‘The Old Tramway’.