Duke of York pub could become Co-op shop after plans are put forward

The potential closure of a Windsor pub has been met with concerns that the town’s sense of community is being destroyed.

The Duke of York pub, in St Leonards Road, could be turned into a Co-op shop after planning consultants Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners submitted an application to the Royal Borough.

Under current planning laws, developers do not need planning permission to convert a pub into a retail unit unless the building is considered to be an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

In a letter to borough planners, St Leonards Road resident Richard Littlefield said the pub has been a community hub where residents can meet and socialise. He wrote: “The Duke of York pub has been the only way for the residents and community of St Leonards Road to meet and discuss and form a tight community.

“We have lost two local pubs in the past five years to housing and our community is being destroyed.”

In November, developers had planned to turn the Duke of York into seven flats and a Co-op supermarket but the application was later withdrawn.

This latest development could see the pub join the likes of The Three Elms, in Clarence Road, and the historic Stag & Hounds pub, in St Leonards Road, which have both closed in recent years to make way for supermarkets and flats.

The pub is used by community groups including Men’s Matters Windsor, which aims to provide men over 50 in the town with a chance to socialise.

Tim Walker, who helped set up the group, said: “We held our launch event at The Duke of York last summer and had about 30 to 40 men from the area attend so we definitely see them as a partner.”

A spokeswoman for Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners confirmed that the company is in ‘advanced discussions’ with the Co-op about trading from the property.

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