A popular former music pub in Burton could be bulldozed after standing empty for more than two years - to make way for a bus car park.
Expanding bus company Midland Classic, which operates at the former Arriva bus depot next to the Wetmore Whistle, in Wetmore Road, Burton, has submitted plans to demolish the premises and increase its own car park facilities.
It comes just three months after the Burton branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK ditched plans to hold meetings, prayers and religious ceremonies at the pub after it sparked criticism over the lack of parking.
Midland Classic commercial director John Mitcheson has now applied to East Staffordshire Borough Council for permission to bulldoze the pub and change the use of the land to increase its car parking from 16 spaces to 31.
He told the Burton Mail: "I can confirm we have lodged a planning application to demolish the former Wetmore Whistle public house adjacent to our premises, in Wetmore Road, Burton, which has been closed for a lengthy period. The demolition and clearance of the site will help facilitate the expansion of our business."
A report to the council by agents to the applicants said: "Midland Classic, whose premises adjoin the site, is finding that its operations are being increasingly compromised by a lack of space for bus/car parking.
"This application proposes the demolition of the existing buildings on site and the creation of additional parking to serve the operations of Midland Classic, it is also proposed to provide additional landscaping and replacement boundary treatments."
The report also revealed Midland Classic is experiencing difficulties operating from its existing premises and there are currently "conflicts" between buses, cars and pedestrians on the site.
The report added: "The proposal does not provide alternative provision for the pub to be lost, however the area is very well served with alternatives. The Great Northern public house is located 700m from the application site and is in a much better location to serve existing homes in the area. The Tower Brewery is open to the public and is located in Glensyl Way approximately 150m to the north west of the site. The Burton Bridge Brewery, in Horninglow Street, is 600m from the site. In addition, Burton town centre is 1km from the site and provides a large number of alternative public houses."
It added that apart from plans to convert the pub into a place of worship which was scrapped, no other interest had been shown in the site, which had been empty since February 2015.
The report said: "The property was put on the market in February 2015 and since then there has been very limited interest. The most recent owner operates more than 20 pubs and is therefore very experienced in the pub trade, and was unable to make the business run efficiently. The only solid interest in the building since it has been placed on the market related to a religious establishment, this was subject to a planning application which was withdrawn owing to highway issues, and this interest has now disappeared."
The report adds that the building is falling into a state of disrepair both internally and externally, and would require significant investment to bring it back into use.