A POPULAR pub is set to be demolished and replaced with a three-storey apartment building.
The Curlew in Petersfield Road, Havant, will be knocked down next year to pave the way for the construction of 31 starter homes.
Havant Borough Council gave the build the green light last month – after the venue was sold by pub chain Fuller’s – with work set be taken on by Poole-based developer Fortitudo from April, 2018.
Mary Sinclair, who is joint landlord of The Curlew with her wife Kerry, says the venue will stay open as long as possible for its regular patrons.
The 37-year-old said: ‘The day this pub shuts will be the day it gets knocked down. People come to The Curlew religiously and have enjoyed doing so for years.
‘We have seen hundreds of memories come to pass in this place, so we are very sad to see it go.’
News of The Curlew’s fate has rocked its loyal clientele and those who live near the prospective development site.
Dennis Stallard, 73, lives in The Drive – opposite the pub.
He said: ‘I moved here in 1967 and I’ve been drinking in The Curlew ever since – they’re great people over there.
‘It’s a nice pub and I’ll be sorry to see it go.’
Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, lives in a two-storey home in Havant Farm Close – a road directly behind The Curlew.
They said: ‘We haven’t got much of a view now, but what we do have is about to get worse. These flats are going to be taller than the pub – way up above our houses – it’s just not on. No one wants a building site at the end of their garden.’
The firm taking on the build is led by illustrious CEO Richard Carr – known for developing a series of Bournemouth nightclubs and a 20-branch restaurant franchise in London.
He hopes the development will help first-time buyers get on the market in Havant.
Mr Carr said: ‘We are thrilled to announce this development that will bring much-needed starter homes to the Havant area, which is in-line with our corporate goal to become a substantial player in this market place.
‘The high-quality construction will provide occupants with outstanding access to shops, schools, employment and other services.
‘We are optimistic this will provide excellent opportunities for Havant over the upcoming years.’
The building – which developers hope will be completed in 2019 – is expected to comprise a single one-bedroom apartment and 30 two-bedroom apartments.
The properties will be included in the government’s Help to Buy scheme and will start at £170,000.