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25th Jun, 2022

Plan to bring back pub given warm welcome

Worcester Editorial 2nd Apr, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A DILAPIDATED pub in St John’s which has been branded an “eyesore” could be restored to its former glory.

Plans have been submitted to Worcester City Council to re-open the Smoke Stack pub which has been closed for more than a decade.

Concerns had been raised over the future of the building which has been boarded up since the neighbouring Zig Zag nightclub went up in flames in 2007.

But developer Fayzia Shaheen has now stepped in to try and bring the Smoke

Stack back to life, with plans to keep it as a pub and create three two-bedroom apartments in the upper two floors.

Coun Richard Udall, councillor for the area, welcomed the proposals as he said the empty pub had made St John’s look scruffy and untidy.

“In principal it can only be good news for the people of St John’s,” he said.

“The premises has been vacant for well over a decade and it has been an open sore on the frontage of St John’s for a long time, so any development of the site will be a significant improvement to the area as it will help to bring people and trade back into the community.

“But it is only half of the job as the rest of the site still remains undeveloped, so I would hope that this is the start of the process to clearing up the whole mess.”

Bill Ottaway, of Worcester Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), said the pub had closed after it came under the ownership of Sainsbury’s which had included the building as part of its plans to create a store in the area.

He added: “It has become an eyesore in that area, so anything that is going to improve that part of St John’s is great news.

“As a resident in Worcester it is a bit of a concern when you see buildings left to become derelict and as I am interested in pubs it has been a shame to see it closed, so it will be fantastic to see the building used again.”

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