Alveston House Hotel 'must be saved' to remember aviation pioneer

Alveston House Hotel Image copyright Google
Image caption The main part of building was built in 1797.

Plans to demolish a Georgian building once owned by an aviation pioneer have been criticised by campaigners.

Developers want to replace the Alveston House Hotel in David's Lane, Alveston, near Bristol, with apartments.

It was built in 1797 and before it was expanded into a hotel it was the home of Capt Frank Barnwell, chief designer at the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

The owner said it was "not suitable" for conversion and would be knocked down if the flats plans were approved.

Marion Reeve, who organised a petition to save the building, said she was "disappointed" the hotel might disappear.

"It's a beautiful hotel, it's a Georgian design," she said.

"It's been a highlight at the entrance of the historic town of Alveston and Thornbury for all these years. It's a landmark."

'So forgotten'

The building houses a blue plaque in memory of Capt Barnwell, who also built and flew the first aircraft in Scotland in 1910.

Ms Reeve said it was important to preserve the memory of "one of the very first aviators in the British Isles".

"He's so forgotten. All his sons have died so they can't pass on his memory."

A previous plan to demolish the building to make way for 34 apartments was refused earlier this year.

Owner, David Cahill, said a revised planning application was due to be submitted to South Gloucestershire Council "in the next three weeks".

"It will have to be knocked down as part of this application," he added.

The building has also been used in the past as a school for children with learning disabilities and an academy for soldiers.

A council spokesman said because the building was not listed or in a conservation area no planning permission was required to knock it down.

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