Troubled Portchester pub looks like it has closed for good

CLOSED The Portsdown Inn is unlikely to reopen
CLOSED The Portsdown Inn is unlikely to reopen
Councillor Luke Stubbs

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NEIGHBOURS have been expressing their joy as it looks like a troubled pub is unlikely to reopen.

Portsdown Inn was ordered to close in April after Fareham Borough Council revoked its licence because of its history of violence and poor management.

Admiral Taverns, which had been the owners of the pub in Leith Avenue, on the border of Portchester and Paulsgrove, were due to fight the ban at the magistrates court.

But it has withdrawn the appeal after selling the property. Nursery worker Sarah Gray has lived opposite the pub for three years.

She said: ‘I never went in there because of its reputation. I’d rather walk for half an hour down to the Seagull.

‘I wouldn’t mind it being another pub there, as long as it was run well, but it has been a lot quieter here at weekends and there’s not all the late night squabbling and fights.’

Neighbour Alfred Coad, 70, said: ‘It used to be a lovely pub, but that was going back years.

‘Recently I’d only been in there once – with my son – and it was really rough. I won’t miss it.’

Andy Clifford, property and strategy director for Admiral Taverns, said: ‘We have completed the sale of the Portsdown Inn.

‘Whenever we take the difficult decision to sell a pub it is our preference that it continues to trade as such, but we must accept that this is ultimately a decision for the incoming owner and, of course, the relevant planning authorities.’

A spokesman for Admiral Taverns said he would not reveal who had bought the site for confidentiality reasons, but added that the new buyer had chosen not to pick up the appeal.

Ward councillor Roger Price said: ‘Things have been moving fairly quickly there over the past couple of weeks.

‘Builders have moved in and gutted the inside.

‘I’ve had residents on the phone asking what’s going on, so I had the council’s enforcement officers go in to ask.

‘The people working inside said there will be a planning application going in soon to turn it into flats upstairs and a shop downstairs.

‘I haven’t had any adverse comments about the pub going.

‘I’m glad it’s gone, and I fully supported them going.

‘It was causing a disturbance and nuisance in the area.’

The original review in which the pub lost its licence was triggered by a fight outside the pub on January 28.

Pub had history of violent incidents in past two years

THE Portsdown Inn lost its licence when police called it in for a review after a fight on January 28 which left one man seriously injured.

That night a man attacked the pub with a baseball bat, angry at having been barred the week before. However, he did not know there was an illegal lock-in taking place at the time and several people came out, beating him severely.

The pub had five managers since 2009 – and police said the high turnover contributed to the venue’s problems.

There had been five other serious incidents at the pub since 2010 involving a knuckle-duster being used, a stabbing, an attack with a glass, and a drinker having part of their ear bitten off.