Former Wigston boozer could become a place of worship

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 29 December 2022

A FORMER pub in Wigston could re-open with a new lease of life as a place of worship operated by a local Islamic community, if given the ‘thumbs up’ by borough council planners.

It could become a place of worship (Image: Google Street View)

Plans have been filed with Oadby and Wigston Borough Council (OWBC) earlier this month by the South Leicestershire Islamic Community (SLIC) to convert the closed Nautical William pub on Aylestone Lane into a brand new place of worship.

The full detailed change of use description states: “Change of use from former pub to halls or meeting places for the principal use of the local community and public worship or religious instruction”.

Whilst the religious group are not the land owners, all of the existing land owners and agricultural tenants relating to the former boozer have been made aware of the plans.

The planning application form shows that just one part-time job would be created.

The former boozer benefits from 60 parking spaces – and these would all be retained.

At the time of publication (Thursday, 29 December), the appeal status is ‘unknown’, whilst the plans are ‘awaiting decision’. However, an internal target date has been set for 26 January 2023, with a statutory determination date set for 9 February 2023.

In 2018, approval was ‘granted’ for it to be demolished to make way for a block of flats, but these fell through, which seen it remain untouched and still standing.

Many former Wigston pubs have been given a change of use over the years.

After The Bell on Leicester Road permanently closed down in 2012, it was converted from a pub into a Ladbrokes bookies. Whilst it no longer shows many hints of its past lease of life, the ‘bell’ sign hanger at the side has been retained.

The Vikings Tun pub, which shut at a similar time to The Bell, became a retail shop to benefit the community, as it was converted into a local branch of the Co-operative.

And, the former Royal Oak pub, which was also once located on Leicester Road, was transformed into the town centre’s ever-busy Sainsbury’s supermarket.

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