City pub will be converted into housing

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A FORMER pub is being pulled down and replaced with family homes.

Demolition work will begin at The White House, in Eastney, Portsmouth, in the next few days.

Scaffolding has been up around the 19th century venue, which has been empty since Enterprise Inns sold it to The Southern Co-operative in 2011.

The firm has agreed a deal with PMC Construction and Radian to build nine affordable houses which each have three bedrooms.

Planning permission has been granted and work will begin once the site, on Eastney Road, has been cleared.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who is also a councillor for the area, said it was disappointing to see the end of another pub.

‘It’s very sad that we are losing so many pubs around the city,’ he said. ‘It should have been kept as a pub, but the owners asked for planning permission and there is no reason in law to say no to them.

‘It’s very frustrating.

‘We’ve already lost The Gravediggers in Highland Road, and The Traveller’s Joy in Milton Road.

‘It’s a process that has been going on for decades, and it’s not just happening here, it’s happening all over the country.’

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the council has tried protecting pubs which don’t have any others around – but that wasn’t the case with The White House.

‘In planning terms we’ve classified The Good Companion, in Eastern Road, as a pub which means it can’t be knocked down and replaced with housing.

‘It’s another one of those prime sites which has a lot of room for parking.

‘Unfortunately there was nothing we could do with The White House because Mr Pickwick, The Fort Cumberland Arms and The Milton Arms are close by.’

Since the pub’s closure part of the car park has been used by nearby Milton Motor Company to sell cars.

Stephen Cripps, general manager for PMC Construction, said: ‘Planning consent was issued for nine houses, and demolition is due to start this week with construction works to start soon after.’