Portchester pub at centre of brawl could be closed down

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A PUB could face closure after police asked to have its licence called in for a review.

The Portsdown Inn in Leith Avenue, Portchester, will face members of Fareham Borough Council’s licensing panel at a hearing next week.

The review comes after a brawl outside the pub in the early hours of January 28 this year left a man with two broken legs. Six people were arrested.

Cllr Pam Bryant, chairwoman of the licensing panel, said: ‘The police have put in an application for the premises licence to be looked at and I understand it’s to do with various things that have happened there over the years – it’s not just to do with this one recent incident.

‘We haven’t received our briefing yet from the police on what exactly they will be asking for, but we will be looking at the four licensing objectives we always have to, prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protecting children from harm.

‘We have the power to take away their licence, but they of course do have the power to appeal if we decide that, which is why we have to make sure we get it right first time.’

The pub could also face other restrictions to its licence, such as reduced hours or extra security measures, to allow it to keep trading.

The pub’s landlady Julie Manns says she has been working hard to turn it around since taking over last September.

Mrs Manns said: ‘We’ve invested a lot of time and money in this place and we have cleaned it up.

‘This pub was full of wrong’uns when we took over, but we have been turning it around. You can’t do that overnight.

‘The incident in January was because of someone I had barred on New Year’s Eve coming back to cause trouble. It wasn’t something that happened inside the pub.

‘My customers are very upset about this review – this is very much a locals pub again, it’s for families and the older generation.’

But neighbour James Smith of Leith Avenue said: ‘I hope they close the place down. There’s been other fights there, we’ve had people shouting in the middle of the street, we’ve found glasses thrown on the pavement and in our garden.

‘We would be better off without the pub there.’

The hearing will take place at Fareham’s civic offices on Wednesday.