A Southampton pub that has been standing empty for 18 months is set to finally reopen after councillors granted it a licence.

As reported in the Daily Echo, more than 600 people had backed Max Greenwood’s bid to open The Rockstone in Bevois Valley, which was formerly the Bevois Castle.

Yesterday, members of Southampton City Council’s licensing committee agreed he should be allowed to open the pub, which the trained chef says will be “a country pub in the city” aimed at non-students.

And they gave Max permission to open until midnight on weekdays and 1am until on Fridays and Saturdays.

Police and environmental health officers had raised concerns that The Rockstone would add to anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.

But the panel members said they did not believe the food-led pub would lead to further problems, and would not be a late-night drinking establishment.

It is thought Max now hopes to open The Rockstone before Christmas.