Plan to revamp pub rejected by city planners

An artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment at the former Contented Pig pub in Portsmouth
An artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment at the former Contented Pig pub in Portsmouth
Picture: SWNS

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PLANS to transform a long-derelict pub into flats have been kicked out by city planners.

The Contented Pig on Fratton Road has suffered repeated vandalism and break-ins during more than four years in which it has sat empty.

Proposals were considered yesterday to turn it into a four-storey block containing 12 flats, following the demolition of the existing building.

But designs submitted to Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee were described as ‘just not good enough’ by its chairman, Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt.

He said: ‘The current building design in its current form is not good enough for this important site near St Mary’s Church and so many other important buildings.

‘This is a very important plot in an important area and I don’t feel the proposal we have seen is of a sufficiently high standard to merit our approval.’

Officers had also recommended the plans be refused permission because of issues with the designs.

But the architect presenting the plans John Bloomfield said he had no idea what the committee thought was wrong with the designs or how they should be changed.

‘The chairman’s criticisms were fairly superficial and subjective,’ he said.

‘And they haven’t given the application the opportunity to refine the designs, as we suggested, by deferring the decision.

‘The problem all along is that we have not been able to get the guidance we need from the planning officers, and this has not done anything to change that.’

Tory councillor Ken Ellcome was one of the few committee members not to vote in favour of refusing permission.

He said: ‘There are bits I’m not too fond of, but on the whole I’m not against the designs.’