Westbury pub taken over by Aldi 'should have been protected'

The Oak Inn, Westbury
Image caption English Heritage said the building had undergone significant alterations

An old Wiltshire pub which is being demolished to make way for a supermarket should have been protected, a group of residents have said.

Demolition of the Oak Inn, in Westbury, is expected to finish this week to make way for an Aldi store.

Westbury Heritage Society said it had asked English Heritage to declare the pub a listed building.

But English Heritage said the building could not be listed as it had undergone significant alterations.

Aldi said nobody was available to comment at this time.

Keith Miller, chairman of Westbury Heritage Society, said: "It's a rather sad situation.

"The building is very significant in Westbury terms, it dates back to the 1600s.

"There are many structures within this building that are original.

"Unfortunately it is closed in 20th Century clothing and people weren't aware of the significance of this building."

'Acted swiftly'

Mr Miller said the society was making a photographic record of what was happening and that some of the demolition workers had given them some items to preserve.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage said: "[We] received an application in late October asking that we consider for listing the Oak Inn and attached brewery in Warminster Road, Westbury.

"Planning permission had already been granted in February this year for its demolition and replacement.

"We contacted the owners in order to arrange a site visit to inform our assessment, however we were notified on 31 October that demolition had begun on site.

"As a result, we acted swiftly and immediately compiled a report based on available information, which included good photographs and documentary sources and this was sent over to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to consider.

"We advised the Secretary of State Maria Miller MP that the buildings were not listable because, although of local historic interest as a reminder of the brewing and glove making industry, the buildings have undergone significant later alterations."

She added that the surviving original features were "not of sufficient quality or historical or architectural interest to merit listing at a national level".

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