Former Royal Marine Artillery Tavern in Portsmouth to be turned into flats
THE loss of a 19th century Portsmouth pub for new homes was described as a 'sadness' by councillors who felt they had no option but to approve the development.
Members of the city's planning committee unanimously voted in favour of the scheme that will turn the Royal Marine Artillery Tavern, known as the RMA, in Eastney into four flats.
The redevelopment on the corner of Cromwell Road and Tokar Street will also include an attached three-bedroom house and car park for five vehicles.
It came to committee yesterday (April 10) after previous plans were turned down by members last year on the grounds of over-development.
The updated proposal has relocated the new-build to the side of the pub rather than next to neighbouring homes and also moved the car park further away from the junction. It was further stipulated that traditional windows will be used in-keeping with the style of the pub.
Councillor Steve Pitt approved of the changes. He said: 'I think that the concerns that we raised before about vehicle movements close to that junction have been met. Moving the place where vehicles come in and out is a significant improvement.
'Not having the house added to the terrace is also an improvement. This is a much better proposal than was shown to us before.'
Eastney and Craneswater representative Cllr Luke Stubbs was sad to see the pub go. 'I used to know this pub well when it was open,' he said.
'As with all these situations there is a certain sadness. It is just the same as the loss of shops. This is down to changing patterns in shopping and leisure.'
But he added: 'Putting the house as part of the pub is visually much better.
'We need to be mindful of what our powers are. It’s not to stop development on brownfield sites. We are never going to get anywhere in process of negotiation if we take the position that we are never going to say yes.'
Councillors agreed that they could not reject plans due to the need for housing in the city.
Speaking to the committee applicant Matthew Pickup said: 'As with the previous application it is proposed that we use high quality materials to build it.
'The proposal represents a high quality residential scheme.'
It comes after venue The Cellars at Eastney which sat opposite the RMA was turned into flats after shutting in 2015.
The RMA opened as a pub in 1858 and closed in March last year.