A ROW has broken out about whether a Victorian pub should stay at the gateway to Havant.
Plans to demolish The Star pub, which is next to the railway station in North Street, are due to go before councillors tomorrow.
Developers want to turn the area into a temporary car park as part of a bigger scheme to build flats, shops and restaurants on the site.
But conservation officers at Havant Borough Council have recommended the demolition plan is refused.
They describe the 163-year-old building as a ‘heritage asset’ for Havant and say it still has the potential to be converted into something else.
The nearby Perseverance pub, another historic building, has recently been converted into a restaurant.
The Star pub had a notorious reputation for drunken violence and has been boarded-up since 2011.
But council officers believe the building is worth saving.
A report from the council’s conservation officer states: ‘I fundamentally disagree with many of the assertions made in support of the building’s demolition.
‘The building is in need of investment to bring it up to a marketable condition, but it is certainly not unsafe.
‘The main structure is sound and I do not concur with the description derelict.
‘There are isolated areas of damage but nothing that could not be easily remedied.’
But Havant Civic Society says it supports demolition because of the ‘significant long-term deterioration of the building’ and the benefit of extra parking for traders.
Havant’s deputy leader David Guest, who represents the town centre, said: ‘Listed buildings should be saved wherever possible. I don’t see The Star in that category.
‘I don’t believe anyone has tried to get it listed.
‘If you want to see that part of Havant remain the way it is, slowly going down the tubes, that’s a sure way to make it happen.
‘We have to realise that sacrifices have to be made to move on and have a brighter, new area outside the station.’
The planning meeting takes place at The Plaza from 5pm.