Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Controversial Trowbridge businessman Thomas Rothschild plans to turn around a rundown pub in the town after buying it from a national pub chain.

Mr Rothschild, who now lives in Sweden, bought the Rose and Crown in Stallard Street from pub chain Enterprise Inns.

He has submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council to refurbish the pub and convert some old stables at the rear of the property into eight bed and breakfast rooms.

Mr Rothschild is a well-known businessman in the Trowbridge area, having built the famous Pumpkin’s Tower in Bythesea Road, named after his daughter, just around the corner from the Rose and Crown pub, which has distinctive pink outside walls.

He once planned to build a castle in a field in Heywood and invited travellers onto the land when he could not get permission to develop it.

Another of his plans was to turn an old public toilet block on the Town Bridge into an art gallery – which earned it the nickname of the Loo-vre.

He has built a number of properties in the area before gaining planning permission.

Clive Webb, Mr Rothschild’s planning agent, said: “He has submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council to reopen the pub as a licensed premises. He’s going to hopefully rebuild the toilets at the rear and also a two-storey building at the rear to create eight letting bedrooms.

“He wants it to become a major public house again near The Gateway shopping centre, opposite the station and on the main road to Bath.”

He said the refurbishment would probably include repainting the exterior and tidying up its interior, and the plan was for it to serve both food and drinks.

l Wiltshire Council has granted planning permission for the refurbishment of another Trowbridge pub, The Stallards Inn.

The 200-year old Grade II listed pub was bought by Four County Inns in November and will re-open as a real ale house specialising in micro-brewers’ beers.

The company plans to change the interior and layout of the ground floor, put in toilets and roof lights and install a kitchen.

More Stuff

A TROWBRIDGE building company and one of its directors have been ordered to pay more than £25,000 after being found guilty of illegal dumping.

R H Tomlinssons (Trowbridge) Ltd and director Thomas Rothschild were ordered to stump up the cash following an investigation by the Environment Agency.

Legal action was sparked after the agency received complaints from residents about dumping and disposal of waste at Church Road, Heywood, near Westbury, two years ago.

Environment Agency spokesman Mike Dunning said: "It was a lengthy trial but we had no alternative but to take action after three members of the public complained.

"They complained about the quantity of waste material deposited on the land. Local councillors also raised concerns."

Inspection of the site revealed a 2m-high pile of rubbish, including old beds, mattresses and carpets, plastic piping and sheeting, broken furniture, plastic bottles and a vacuum cleaner.

Other waste, including brick rubble and broken tiles, was found on a lorry parked nearby. Both the company and the director had no licence to use the land for waste storage or disposal.

R H Tomlinssons (Trowbridge) Ltd was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £9,000 costs at Swindon Crown Court last week after it was found guilty of two offenses relating to illegal dumping and the keeping of controlled waste at the site between August 10 and October 12 2001.

Rothschild, who chose to represent himself at the trial but was unavailable for comment this week, was also ordered to pay £11,500 in fines and costs for dumping controlled waste in the same field.

Mr Dunning said: "Mr Rothschild elected to go to trial and it was a nine-day hearing. That's why the costs were so high.

"We are pleased with the result. Hopefully, this should send out a warning to other people not to dispose of waste in this way."

Tony Owen, of the Environment Agency, was also pleased with the verdict.

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A Controversial businessman has vowed to board up a pub he owns in the centre of Trowbridge and leave it empty until he is given full planning permission to refurbish it.

Thomas Rothschild’s plans for the Grade II listed Rose and Crown pub in Stallard Street include demolishing a two-storey former stable and garage block at the rear of the building.

At a meeting on Tuesday evening, Trowbridge Town Council’s planning committee gave the thumbs down to the plan saying because the stable/garage was within the curtiledge of the listed building it would not support its demolition.

Former mayor cllr John Knight said: “I’m very concerned about this. The present developers working on The Gateway have taken the trouble to underpin the building at the back.

“It’s fairly substantial. One could argue that it’s not of much aesthetic interest but the fact is that it’s there, it is part of the curtiledge and it’s a Grade II listed pub and I think it’s worthy of being kept.

“I’m sure the conservation officer would back this too.”

The committee recommended the plans be refused when they come before Wiltshire Council.

But this week Mr Rothschild, who now divides his time between Sweden and Hungary, remained defiant saying if the plans were not permitted he would simply board up the pub until such time as the councillors changed their minds.

Speaking from Hungary he said: “There’s only one word for it: sad.

“It’s not a problem for me financially, the building can stay there for 20 years as far as I’m concerned.

“I have given them the opportunity to redevelop the site, if they don’t want it then that’s their decision.

“I will just board up the place and leave it and if in ten to 15 years’ time if they want it redeveloped they can come back to me.”

Mr Rothschild, who bought the pub from Enterprise Inns, plans to fully refurbishing the main pub and demolish the garage/stable block and build a three-storey building with eight bed and breakfast rooms in its place.

He said he would not alter his plans to win planning permission, and said: “Those are the plans and if they don’t like them then I’ll leave the Rose and Crown as it is.

“They can’t force me to do anything with it.”

Mr Rothschild is a well-known businessman in the Trowbridge area, having built the famous Pumpkin’s Tower in Bythesea Road, named after his daughter, just around the corner from the Rose and Crown, which has distinctive pink outside walls.

He has built a number of properties in the area before gaining planning permission.