Empty pub to be bulldozed and replaced by shop

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A RUN-DOWN pub in Cowplain that became a magnet for trouble is to be demolished.

The Brewmaster in Hart Plain Avenue has been vacant for the last two years and has become a blot on the landscape as it is boarded-up.

The pub, built in the late 1960s, was once popular, but deteriorated over the last few years and police were frequently called out to disturbances.

Now planners at Havant Borough Council have given their backing to a bid to bulldoze the pub and replace it with a shop and 11 flats.

The Co-operative is looking at the possibility of occupying the retail space.

Gerry Shimbart, who lives opposite the pub and is a local councillor, was glad to see something being done.

He said: ‘It closed down a couple of years ago and was very infrequently used even then. It did not have a good reputation. The residents are happy.

‘At the moment, it’s an eyesore.

‘It looks a mess. There’s been vandalism and people have got inside and done things.’

He said it was sad to see a pub closing down but the area was already well-served by The Rainbow and The Green Dragon pubs.

He said: ‘One of the problems was that it wasn’t built so that there could be any noise.

‘They could not have live entertainment there because of the fact it was a single skin wooden building.

‘It’s sad when any business closes down. But if they are not successful, then they are going to.’

Concerns have been raised about parking, noise and the effect of another retailer on the nearby One Stop shop.

A total of 19 letters of objection have been received by the council.

Deborah Clark, a spokeswoman for The Co-operative, said: ‘We can confirm we are interested in the site at Hart Plain Avenue, along with several other sites in the area, and we’re currently considering the options for expanding our convenience store offering.’

Guinness Hermitage is interested in taking on all the flats for affordable housing.

A council report says: ‘The average waiting time for one and two bed properties is anywhere between six and 10 years.

‘The new homes will provide much-needed accommodation in a good location near shops, educational facilities, transport links and other amenities.’

The development would include 10 car park spaces for the shop.

Councillors will take a vote on the plans next Thursday.