Council to weigh up protection proposal

Tributes left outside Fareham Academy.

Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180012-4)

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A PORTSMOUTH councillor has pushed for new rules to help save pubs in the city from being knocked down.

Tory Luke Stubbs has lobbied the city authority to follow Havant Borough and East Hampshire District councils in protecting local pubs.

Both councils have said they will refuse to consider plans to knock down bars unless their owners can prove they have made every effort to make their establishment successful.

And Cllr Stubbs, who has spoken out against pub closures in his role as a city council planning committee member, has now convinced the city to consider similar rules within its boundaries.

He said: ‘There’s too much of a view at the moment that it’s easy to get rid of pubs and make more money building houses and other things on the land.

‘Houses are needed, but pubs play an important role in our city.

‘They’re community focus points and the buildings are often striking. City centre pubs maybe don’t need the same protection, but popular community places should be protected.’

The council will now take the proposals to its scrutiny panel, which will consider whether to adopt it as an official policy.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We’ll consider it, and I recommend people tell us if they feel their local pub should be protected.’

Cllr Stubbs, who has recently spoken out against the closure of the Travellers’ Joy pub on Milton Road, added: ‘Apart from anything else, at the moment people are being pushed more towards Guildhall Walk and that can cause problems of safety. Neighbourhood pubs could be protected more.’