Butcombe Brewing Company is investing heavily in the Grade II-listed Ostrich Inn following its purchase by them towards the end of 2017. Their latest proposals received formal planning consent on 13th January 2020 subject to some conditions. The proposals involve internal alterations to the first and second floors of the building to improve its functionality, and to provide a necessary new rear fire escape staircase.
First Floor Alterations
The first floor is currently not open to the public, providing an underutilised ancillary office, staff sitting room, store and two separate kitchen areas (one is the commercial kitchen and one serves the staff). One of the kitchen areas will be retained and extended. Butcombe claim that the loss of a small amount of historic fabric would be outweighed by providing a fit-for-purpose kitchen, securing the building’s viable use and bringing the first floor back into public use. There will be a new public seating area on the first floor for drinking and dining. The very limited internal space for customer seating in the current layout means the pub struggles for trade during the winter months.
Second Floor Alterations
At second floor level, it is proposed to introduce a prep kitchen, cold store, customer WCs and office/store. Butcombe claim there will be no loss of historic fabric.
Fire Escape Staircase
Externally, a new steel fire escape staircase is proposed to provide access to the second floor. This would also require a new opening within the rear elevation of the building. The opening would cause some harm to the listed building through loss of fabric but Butcombe argue this would be outweighed by securing the building’s optimum viable use and bringing the first and second floors back into public use.