Sadness as plan unveiled to turn popular Portsmouth gay venue into 11-bed student house

Roxanne Vines

NEWS OPINION: ‘No matter how brilliant she is, there is just no excuse’

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PUB-goers have spoken of their sadness after plans were lodged to turn a venue popular with Portsmouth’s gay community into an 11-bed house for students.

The Old Vic in St Paul’s Road, Southsea, could become shared accommodation.

A planning application has been submitted to Portsmouth City Council and a decision has yet to be made about its future.

But people have voiced their disapproval after the venue published a letter about the plans on Facebook.

Neil Kerslake said: ‘It’s a sad sign of the times.

‘I always had a good time and was made welcome by the staff. It’s just a shame that people didn’t support it more when it was open.’

Trudy Perkins said: ‘Such a shame, loved that pub, don’t even go to Portsmouth now, have no idea of where to go!’

Christopher Harrison said: ‘Can anyone object to it?

‘A traditional pub like that should be preserved. Build flats somewhere else!’

Commenting on the council’s website, Robert Marsh, of King Albert Street, said: ‘This pub has been the cornerstone of the LGBT community for as long as I can remember, I think it would be truly tragic to see it ripped apart to become housing.’

Rob Findlay, of Halliday Crescent, added: ‘There is enough accommodation without losing a listed building to become a mandatory licensed HMO.’

People have until August 5 to submit their views to the council.

It comes after plans were unveiled to turn Scandals nightclub, in Hampshire Terrace, and the language school above it, into 22 bedrooms with two studio flats.

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