THE demolition of a Victorian pub in Portsmouth could make way for an 'eye-catching' three-storey development.
Plans for 12 homes have been submitted on the site of the former Mr Pickwick pub on Milton Road, just around the corner from Fratton Park, where last orders were called in 2017.
A mix of one and two-bed flats plus a larger three-bedroom family flat are proposed, as well as parking for 13 cars.
The most recent application comes after previous rejected designs were branded 'bland' and criticised for the parking layout.
But Mark Holman, of HRP Architects, which recently took over the project, believed the latest scheme addressed these issues. 'We have moved the car parking to the north of the site, meaning that the building won't be so close to the properties on the west,' he said.
'Highways England are now happy with how the parking will work.
'The original design was also immensely traditional. But the council felt it was an important road and they wanted the development to make more of a statement.
'We believe we have created something that is eye-catching that will be a focal point for the road.'
As part of the council's housing policy it is proposed that four of the homes are made affordable.
Portsmouth housing activist Cal Corkery hoped this target would be met. He said: 'I welcome any new development that includes a significant proportion of affordable homes.
'With homelessness of all kinds on the rise there is a desperate need for more affordable housing to tackle the housing crisis. Let's hope these proposals will act as an encouragement for other property developers to also honour their affordable housing obligations.'
Mr Pickwick was once a Long’s brewery pub called Cremorne Gardens, which was given its Dickensian name in the mid-1970s, and in 1986 it became Duke’s. Refurbished in 1989, the pub was renamed Mr Pickwick. It closed in 2017.
So far the application has garnered one objection.
Pat Lopez, who lives in the neighbouring Holmes Park, was fearful that the car park entrance on the west side of the site would case traffic problems. In an objection letter she said: 'I do not want the car access to the parking area of the new build flats next to my flat and I believe the bend in the road there will make such an access point dangerous.
'My other point about another access point across the traffic lanes so close to Holmes Park access also will disrupt traffic flow. When I have to pull into my block across the traffic lanes cars get annoyed that they have entered that lane then get stuck behind me as I can only indicate to pull into my block as I've passed the traffic lights.
'They then jump into the outer lane to pass my car and back into my lane. Put a second access just past Holmes Park access and you double that problem on a busy road.'
The flats application could go to a future planning meeting.