Developer wants to turn pub into children’s nursery

The Crows Nest Public House on Hazleton Way Cowplain
The Crows Nest Public House on Hazleton Way Cowplain

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CUSTOMERS are gearing up for yet another battle to save their local pub.

It will be the fourth time the Crows Nest, in Hazleton Way, Waterlooville, has been under threat.

The building’s owner, Acres Developments, have put a planning application in to Havant Borough Council to change the building’s use to a children’s nursery.

But first of all the developers must prove to the council the pub is not financially viable and they have tried to sell it as a going concern but failed.

Landlady Donna Chaytor, who works for Southern Counties Taverns, said the first she knew of the new plan was when a customer told her.

She said: ‘I’m not happy about it obviously. No-one from Acres told us – one of our customers came in with a letter they received from Havant Borough Council about it.

‘The regulars have already started another campaign. ‘There are loads of day nurseries in the area but there’s no pub within walking distance.

‘Business is okay, it’s picking up. We’ve had a lot of customers go off on holiday and because we rely on so many locals if they go away it does make a difference.

‘But we’re due to have a Halloween party and a race night in November so I’m sure it will be very busy.

‘If the developers win this time they will have to give Southern Counties notice and we’ll just have to move on.’

Charlie Watt, of Greenfield Crescent, is leading the fight to save his beloved local.

The 63-year-old civil servant said: ‘My wife and I have investigated and there are at least another 11 day nurseries in this area. There’s just no need for another one.

‘This area is mainly made up of elderly people so anyone bringing their child in will have to come by car which isn’t a good thing.

‘We have been talking to everyone who uses the pub, galvanising support.’

Campaigners’ victory over developers inspired The News’ Love Your Local campaign. which aims to support local pubs and resist closures.

Acres Developments did not respond to calls. Representations must be made to the council by October 21. Write to Havant Borough Council, Civic Centre Road, Havant, Hampshire PO9 2AX, quoting reference APP/11/01445 .