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Harrier Inn, Hamble, could be replaced by a retirement development
RETIREMENT homes could be built on the site of a Hampshire pub after it suffered a “decline in trade”.
Developers McCarthy and Stone say they have entered in to an agreement with the owners of the Harrier Inn, Hamble to provide a “sensitive solution” for the future of the site.
The firm says the pub business is no longer sustainable after suffering declining trade over the last few years combined with escalating costs and the need for amajor refurbishment.
Pubpreservation campaigners have called the news “depressing”.
But McCarthy and Stone says the owners of the watering hole, on Hamble Lane, considered all available options before making the decision.
Plans are now being drawn up to turn the site into retirement apartments with landscaping and car parking before a planning application is submitted.
The news has already been greeted with dismay by the Southern Hampshire Campaign for Real Ale, which champions local pubs.
Pat O’Neill, from the campaign, said he would be consulting fellow branch members about the proposals “It is just another case of a sorry story and it has been going on for years,” he said.
“It is very disturbing to see all these community pubs going.
“Pubs like this are very much a convenience to the local population – especially for elderly people and those without transport.
“I just find it depressing.”
McCarthy and Stone’s regional managing director Shane Paull said the development would represent an investment of around £5m into the local economy and warned that the site could become a convenience store if the plan was not approved.
He said: “It is our aim to transformthis site with a sensitive development, which will feature a high quality design and complement the character of the surrounding area.
“We believe this site is an ideal location to deliver much-needed housing for people in later life, which would help address an identified, and growing, local need for older person’s accommodation in Hamble.”
“If we are unsuccessful in our bid to gain planning consent, it is highly likely the pub will be sold to a national retailer and due to current planning policy they would be able to redevelop the site into an A1 use, such as a supermarket or convenience store, without the need to seek planning permission from the local authority.
“However we strongly believe a McCarthy & Stone development would offer a more suitable and sensitive fit for the potential future of the site. We are a responsible developer and will be working hard to ensure that our proposals offer the very best for our potential future residents and the Hamble community.”
Nobody from the pub was available for comment.
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