Controversial plan to turn a former Portsmouth pub into a shop to be decided next week

THE fate of a former pub in Fratton could be sealed next week as councillors will decide on plans to turn it into a shop - but nearby residents aren't happy.

Planning committee members will look at proposals for the disused Connaught Arms in Guildford Road, which called last orders in 2015, to convert the ground floor into a corner shop and build a single-storey rear extension.

The Connaught Arms in Portsmouth

The Connaught Arms in Portsmouth

So far the plans have received 27 objections and a petition against them have garnered 75 signatures, with many believing the area is ‘over-saturated’ with shops.

Alan Tucker, of Renny Road, said: 'Two well established family stores have traded here for at least 30 years each, one is only 15 metres away from the proposed store - their existence is now threatened.

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He added: 'A convenience store is entirely inappropriate on that particular road crossing. Many near-misses have been experienced on that crossroad junction and the addition of more footfall, traffic parked nearby, plus delivery lorries/vans servicing it will lead to an already stressful crossing, some 150 are schoolchildren twice a day.'

At the same time the application was submitted another to redevelop it into three homes was also filed although this is not scheduled to go to committee.

Residents previously turned out in force to object to a shop in the site when the pub first closed with more than 800 signing a petition, although that application fell through.

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Guildford Road resident Shona Mouland said: 'I feel that the added noise, chaos and youths will be detrimental to my childrens' sleep. We have an adequate amount of shops in the area one being just a few yards away.'

The owner of Penhale News, which sits opposite the Connaught Arms, Sanjay Patel started the petition against a new shop.

He said: 'Within a five-minute walk my local customers can access a Tesco or Asda supermarket, a 24/7 convenience store on Fratton Road, Farm Foods and Iceland. Although these stores may vary in their provision of services I can assure you that my financial situation has, over time, felt the effects of these many stores opening nearby.'

The planning meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 19.