AN HISTORIC pub in Gosport looks likely to be turned into a care home for young people.
The Royal Arms public house in Stoke Road, which is boarded up and closed, is Grade II listed and dates back to the early 1800s.
It is part of the Stoke Road Conservation Area – but its rich history as a public house is about to end.
The front part of the ground floor of the building will be turned into two shops.
And the rear part of the ground floor accommodation and the first floor will become a care home with up to seven people living together.
The applicant has purchased the site and is acting on his own behalf.
The Royal Arms joins a list of pubs across the area which have been forced to close down.
Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘I think it’s good news. The ground floor will be turned into two shops which hopefully will bring a bit of life into Stoke Road.
‘With regards to the care home I think it’s good that we can integrate vulnerable people into society and bring them back into the community.’
Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the Lib Dems in Gosport, said it was a shame to see such an historic pub closing.
‘I saved that pub in the mid 90’s,’ he said.
‘It was closed down and I proposed a group to take over it and restore it.
‘It’s been closed for a few years now but I find it very sad.
‘It’s a very sad sign of the times that pubs are closing.
‘I have no problems with it become a centre for people with learning difficulties.
‘At least it will have some use rather than being boarded up on Stoke Road.’
The closure of The Royal Arms was followed by The Kings Head and The Wych Way, which also shut down in the town.
They have since both been turned into shops.
Meanwhile the Linden Lea in Portchester remains shut after closing last year.
‘Every time a pub closes it drains life out of the community,’ added Cllr Chegwyn.
‘It’s a worrying time, all the pubs are struggling. Pubs are the hub of the community.’
Officers at the council have recommended that planning permission is given.
Councillors will vote on the plans at a Regulatory Board meeting at the council on Tuesday.