Landmark Gillingham pub could be set for major overhaul

A HIGH Street pub and hotel in Gillingham could be set for a major overhaul if plans are approved.

The owners of The Red Lion Hotel have applied to Dorset Council for permission to carry a series of internal and external works.

Changes would include the relocation of customer toilets and the bar servery, as well as the installation of a ‘glazed curtain wall’ to the rear of the listed High Street property.

“The management now wish to improve the pub’s layout and operational efficiency by moving the customer toilets (male and female) from the north to the south end of the trade area in the rear wing, as well as moving the bar servery on to the west side of that wing and modifying the access to the kitchen,” the planning application said.

How the Red Lion could look. Picture: 2C Design/Dorset Council

How the Red Lion could look. Picture: 2C Design/Dorset Council

“This will allow a more direct connection between the front bar areas and the rear trade area.”

Another alteration would see the flat-roofed, modern ‘rear wing’ of the building be covered in a ‘board on board’ cladding, in a bid to ‘soften’ its appearance.

“The modern rear wing with the lower flat roof has no architectural merit and currently detracts from the appearance of the historic building,” the application went on.

“It is therefore proposed that its stark functional appearance by softened by larch “board on board” cladding being applied to the three external walls of the structure in vertical timber boarding.”

The rear wing of the building would be covered in timber cladding

The rear wing of the building would be covered in timber cladding

Concrete outside the building would be replaced with limestone flagstones, with doors and fixtures also replaced.

Internally, a disabled toilet would also be created, as well as a new ‘internal porch’ around the existing entrance.

“All timber beams and posts within the front trade area are to have a sympathetic cleaning using a dry ice cleaning method, to lift and reinvigorate the period elements,” it added.

“New floor finishes are proposed throughout and will include, engineered timber planks, limestone and ceramic tiles.”

For more details, and to comment on the proposals, log on to and search for application reference P/LBC/2023/04961.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.