Campaigners win first round in fight to save pub from McDonald's

Campaigners win first round in fight to save pub from McDonald's

Campaigners win first round in fight to save pub from McDonald's

First published in News
Last updated

THEY have won the first battle in their bid to save a historic Hampshire pub.

The Bittern pub could be saved after fast-food chain McDonald’s had a planning application refused to transform the popular watering hole into a new restaurant.

It comes after regulars and community figures rallied together to try and save the pub from closure.

Plans to turn the Thornhill Park Road pub into a drivethrough restaurant were turned down by planning officers at Southampton City Council before they were presented at a committee meeting.

The proposals, which would see the site redeveloped into a two-storey restaurant, were refused on three grounds.

Officers refused the plans on the basis that demolishing The Bittern would result in the loss of the building, which was registered as an asset of community value – as reported by the Daily Echo.

The plans would also affect highway safety and fail to promote sustainable travel along Thornhill Park Road.

Officers also pushed away the initial application due to McDonald’s failure regarding a Section 106 agreement.

Southampton Itchen MP John Denham welcomed the refusal. He said: “It’s certainly good news.

“In a sense for it to be rejected by officers before the committee suggests there may have been substantial reasons for it.

“You cannot stop somebody putting in a revised application but we will have to see what happens. We know they started discussions with the city council about planning back in the summer.

“We know a sale will go through if they get permission but we would hope to reopen the whole process and gain the opportunity for the community to put together a commercial bid to buy the pub.

“We have learned not to claim we have won but try to make progress each time.”

Glen McInnes, manager of the pub, said he will open discussions with the pub’s brewery over its future plans.

He said: “We are over the moon with the refusal. The sheer fact it was refused because of the building means it is beyond their control.

It is early days. We have to wait and see what happens now.

“We are overjoyed by the first part of this. It was not supposed to go to the council before February 16, so this will stand us in good stead.”

A spokesman for McDonald’s said the chain will continue to work with the council on its plans.

They said: “We are disappointed that our plans to build a new restaurant in Southampton have been refused.

“We would like to invest, create jobs and build a new restaurant in the area and will continue to work with the council on our plans.”

Comments (34)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:56am Thu 6 Feb 14

skeptik says...

Good sometimes it is about people - councils in recent times have forgotten that. They need the money we hear - being saying that often enough and yet we pay more and get less - perhaps it is time to ask the people what type local government we have - why stick with failure? Once established the people should decide who and what we pay for. Unthinkable? Oh yes for the councils - for the people?
Good sometimes it is about people - councils in recent times have forgotten that. They need the money we hear - being saying that often enough and yet we pay more and get less - perhaps it is time to ask the people what type local government we have - why stick with failure? Once established the people should decide who and what we pay for. Unthinkable? Oh yes for the councils - for the people? skeptik
  • Score: 8

6:59am Thu 6 Feb 14

See You When The Fog Clears says...

I want this pub to survive as it was my local back in the 70’s but describing it as a Historic Hampshire Pub is a bit of a stretch :D

It seems to me the Brewery that owns it has all the cards here. If they sell it to McDonalds it will disappear. Money over Community seems to be thing here.
I want this pub to survive as it was my local back in the 70’s but describing it as a Historic Hampshire Pub is a bit of a stretch :D It seems to me the Brewery that owns it has all the cards here. If they sell it to McDonalds it will disappear. Money over Community seems to be thing here. See You When The Fog Clears
  • Score: 23

7:39am Thu 6 Feb 14

__KTF__ says...

How did the campaigners 'win' when the plans were rejected by the planning officers?

McDonalds will revise the plans and submit them again. The failure to get them approved has little to do with the locals imo.
How did the campaigners 'win' when the plans were rejected by the planning officers? McDonalds will revise the plans and submit them again. The failure to get them approved has little to do with the locals imo. __KTF__
  • Score: -7

7:54am Thu 6 Feb 14

St.Winch70 says...

Key point here is the failure to meet the 106. That'll be revised, and McDonalds will improve the infrastructure of the area at no cost to the council. In the current climate, with council cuts etc, this is one gift horse that they will not ignore, regardless of the building or the pub goers! Wrapping it all up under the umbrella 'for the greater good'
Key point here is the failure to meet the 106. That'll be revised, and McDonalds will improve the infrastructure of the area at no cost to the council. In the current climate, with council cuts etc, this is one gift horse that they will not ignore, regardless of the building or the pub goers! Wrapping it all up under the umbrella 'for the greater good' St.Winch70
  • Score: -10

8:14am Thu 6 Feb 14

jonone says...

So each and every person in the picture above visted this pub regularly? And each and every person in the picture above will visit regularly once it reopens? At least weekly I would suggest?
So each and every person in the picture above visted this pub regularly? And each and every person in the picture above will visit regularly once it reopens? At least weekly I would suggest? jonone
  • Score: -4

8:17am Thu 6 Feb 14

D.a.v.e says...

The place is an eyesore. There is not a chance that the owners will spend a penny on this building as they know it's ultimate fate.
McDonalds will be flipping burgers by Christmas/
The place is an eyesore. There is not a chance that the owners will spend a penny on this building as they know it's ultimate fate. McDonalds will be flipping burgers by Christmas/ D.a.v.e
  • Score: -6

8:20am Thu 6 Feb 14

wwozzer says...

It's not really about the building it's about the land, who owns it (may not even be the brewery) and how much McDonald's are willing to pay in rent each year.

I know the Burger King on Burgess road is paying upwards of 50k per annum in ground rent alone for a relatively small site in comparison.
It's not really about the building it's about the land, who owns it (may not even be the brewery) and how much McDonald's are willing to pay in rent each year. I know the Burger King on Burgess road is paying upwards of 50k per annum in ground rent alone for a relatively small site in comparison. wwozzer
  • Score: -11

8:29am Thu 6 Feb 14

bumblebee200 says...

Oh for god sake its a complete sh*thole, tear it down asap.
Oh for god sake its a complete sh*thole, tear it down asap. bumblebee200
  • Score: 4

8:37am Thu 6 Feb 14

AndyAndrews says...

Bring on the MacDs, an asset for all the family, not just a handful of boozers.
Bring on the MacDs, an asset for all the family, not just a handful of boozers. AndyAndrews
  • Score: -23

8:39am Thu 6 Feb 14

gilbertratchet says...

See You When The Fog Clears wrote:
I want this pub to survive as it was my local back in the 70’s but describing it as a Historic Hampshire Pub is a bit of a stretch :D

It seems to me the Brewery that owns it has all the cards here. If they sell it to McDonalds it will disappear. Money over Community seems to be thing here.
When was the last time you drank there?
[quote][p][bold]See You When The Fog Clears[/bold] wrote: I want this pub to survive as it was my local back in the 70’s but describing it as a Historic Hampshire Pub is a bit of a stretch :D It seems to me the Brewery that owns it has all the cards here. If they sell it to McDonalds it will disappear. Money over Community seems to be thing here.[/p][/quote]When was the last time you drank there? gilbertratchet
  • Score: 2

9:11am Thu 6 Feb 14

pob says...

I'm in full agreement with Bumblebee200; the place is an eyesore and a dump. Just about anything else would be an improvement.
I'm in full agreement with Bumblebee200; the place is an eyesore and a dump. Just about anything else would be an improvement. pob
  • Score: -11

10:04am Thu 6 Feb 14

KSO16R says...

Never used the pub, never would but would use macdonalds.
Never used the pub, never would but would use macdonalds. KSO16R
  • Score: -20

10:14am Thu 6 Feb 14

The Music Man says...

__KTF__ wrote:
How did the campaigners 'win' when the plans were rejected by the planning officers?

McDonalds will revise the plans and submit them again. The failure to get them approved has little to do with the locals imo.
Because the campaigners were the ones who submitted objections to all of the planning officers. Simple.
[quote][p][bold]__KTF__[/bold] wrote: How did the campaigners 'win' when the plans were rejected by the planning officers? McDonalds will revise the plans and submit them again. The failure to get them approved has little to do with the locals imo.[/p][/quote]Because the campaigners were the ones who submitted objections to all of the planning officers. Simple. The Music Man
  • Score: 22

10:17am Thu 6 Feb 14

The Music Man says...

D.a.v.e wrote:
The place is an eyesore. There is not a chance that the owners will spend a penny on this building as they know it's ultimate fate.
McDonalds will be flipping burgers by Christmas/
The current owners (Punch Taverns( won't put any money in as they just want to sell it.

However, if Punch agree to sell (to the locals/an investor etc) then the new owner will put a lot of cash in......
[quote][p][bold]D.a.v.e[/bold] wrote: The place is an eyesore. There is not a chance that the owners will spend a penny on this building as they know it's ultimate fate. McDonalds will be flipping burgers by Christmas/[/p][/quote]The current owners (Punch Taverns( won't put any money in as they just want to sell it. However, if Punch agree to sell (to the locals/an investor etc) then the new owner will put a lot of cash in...... The Music Man
  • Score: 23

11:06am Thu 6 Feb 14

red/whitearmy says...

Just knock the waste building down. Re build some thing else there. I know more flats. Unless there still growing drugs in there. I am sure it was not just the campaigners who stopped this from happening.
Just knock the waste building down. Re build some thing else there. I know more flats. Unless there still growing drugs in there. I am sure it was not just the campaigners who stopped this from happening. red/whitearmy
  • Score: -1

11:18am Thu 6 Feb 14

KSO16R says...

Macdonalds will cater for a wider section of the community than the pub does. The 'campaigners' might not like it but thats a fact. Where is the nearest macdonalds?
Macdonalds will cater for a wider section of the community than the pub does. The 'campaigners' might not like it but thats a fact. Where is the nearest macdonalds? KSO16R
  • Score: -1

11:31am Thu 6 Feb 14

City Saint says...

Last time I visited the pub (a couple of years ago) it was a complete dive, and drugs were being done in the loos. I'd like to see a good community pub there too. But you'd still need to tear down the Bittern for that to happen.
Last time I visited the pub (a couple of years ago) it was a complete dive, and drugs were being done in the loos. I'd like to see a good community pub there too. But you'd still need to tear down the Bittern for that to happen. City Saint
  • Score: 0

11:32am Thu 6 Feb 14

City Saint says...

KSO16R wrote:
Macdonalds will cater for a wider section of the community than the pub does. The 'campaigners' might not like it but thats a fact. Where is the nearest macdonalds?
Hedge End.
[quote][p][bold]KSO16R[/bold] wrote: Macdonalds will cater for a wider section of the community than the pub does. The 'campaigners' might not like it but thats a fact. Where is the nearest macdonalds?[/p][/quote]Hedge End. City Saint
  • Score: 5

11:33am Thu 6 Feb 14

WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER. says...

burgers or drugs ,that is the choice.
burgers or drugs ,that is the choice. WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER.
  • Score: 4

12:41pm Thu 6 Feb 14

KSO16R says...

WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER. wrote:
burgers or drugs ,that is the choice.
Or nice coffee, reasonably priced. And free wifi
[quote][p][bold]WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER.[/bold] wrote: burgers or drugs ,that is the choice.[/p][/quote]Or nice coffee, reasonably priced. And free wifi KSO16R
  • Score: 1

12:53pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Beer Monster says...

City Saint wrote:
Last time I visited the pub (a couple of years ago) it was a complete dive, and drugs were being done in the loos. I'd like to see a good community pub there too. But you'd still need to tear down the Bittern for that to happen.
Somewhere near a comment with some sense - the Bittern is in a similar position to the Hampshire Yeoman in Blackfield was last year. Desperately in need of an overhaul, and the majority would all prefer to keep it as a community pub but none of us have the financial clout to be able to take on the greedy b@stards in charge of the situation.
[quote][p][bold]City Saint[/bold] wrote: Last time I visited the pub (a couple of years ago) it was a complete dive, and drugs were being done in the loos. I'd like to see a good community pub there too. But you'd still need to tear down the Bittern for that to happen.[/p][/quote]Somewhere near a comment with some sense - the Bittern is in a similar position to the Hampshire Yeoman in Blackfield was last year. Desperately in need of an overhaul, and the majority would all prefer to keep it as a community pub but none of us have the financial clout to be able to take on the greedy b@stards in charge of the situation. Beer Monster
  • Score: -3

3:00pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Outside of the Box says...

Maccy D's will be back, the section 106 is more than likely the stumbling block, it used the case that any developer would build a park or something similar near the site, however the council can no longer afford to have parks/play area's gifted because they can't afford to maintain them.

Maccy D's could offer a percentage of staff to be employed from the locality, they could even to fund youth provision in the boys club across the park, under the 106, either of these I believe would be very acceptable to the Council.
Maccy D's will be back, the section 106 is more than likely the stumbling block, it used the case that any developer would build a park or something similar near the site, however the council can no longer afford to have parks/play area's gifted because they can't afford to maintain them. Maccy D's could offer a percentage of staff to be employed from the locality, they could even to fund youth provision in the boys club across the park, under the 106, either of these I believe would be very acceptable to the Council. Outside of the Box
  • Score: -3

3:16pm Thu 6 Feb 14

03alpe01 says...

Well done to the campaigners involved, but I'm still sure that the next time they go in there they'll be met by some grumpy minimum wage jerk wearing a cap who'll just say to them "You want fries with that?"
Well done to the campaigners involved, but I'm still sure that the next time they go in there they'll be met by some grumpy minimum wage jerk wearing a cap who'll just say to them "You want fries with that?" 03alpe01
  • Score: -4

3:52pm Thu 6 Feb 14

GordonTheMoron says...

Outside of the Box wrote:
Maccy D's will be back, the section 106 is more than likely the stumbling block, it used the case that any developer would build a park or something similar near the site, however the council can no longer afford to have parks/play area's gifted because they can't afford to maintain them.

Maccy D's could offer a percentage of staff to be employed from the locality, they could even to fund youth provision in the boys club across the park, under the 106, either of these I believe would be very acceptable to the Council.
Check out the planning application objection reasons and you'll see the 106 was only a minor factor. The main reason was that the building is now registered as an Asset of Community Value. The second factor was the traffic proposals....and looking at the plans, (which were very well thought out) it would be hard for them to come up with an alternative solution to what they proposed

It looks like McDonalds may have actually lost this one.....
[quote][p][bold]Outside of the Box[/bold] wrote: Maccy D's will be back, the section 106 is more than likely the stumbling block, it used the case that any developer would build a park or something similar near the site, however the council can no longer afford to have parks/play area's gifted because they can't afford to maintain them. Maccy D's could offer a percentage of staff to be employed from the locality, they could even to fund youth provision in the boys club across the park, under the 106, either of these I believe would be very acceptable to the Council.[/p][/quote]Check out the planning application objection reasons and you'll see the 106 was only a minor factor. The main reason was that the building is now registered as an Asset of Community Value. The second factor was the traffic proposals....and looking at the plans, (which were very well thought out) it would be hard for them to come up with an alternative solution to what they proposed It looks like McDonalds may have actually lost this one..... GordonTheMoron
  • Score: 3

4:02pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Outside of the Box says...

GordonTheMoron wrote:
Outside of the Box wrote:
Maccy D's will be back, the section 106 is more than likely the stumbling block, it used the case that any developer would build a park or something similar near the site, however the council can no longer afford to have parks/play area's gifted because they can't afford to maintain them.

Maccy D's could offer a percentage of staff to be employed from the locality, they could even to fund youth provision in the boys club across the park, under the 106, either of these I believe would be very acceptable to the Council.
Check out the planning application objection reasons and you'll see the 106 was only a minor factor. The main reason was that the building is now registered as an Asset of Community Value. The second factor was the traffic proposals....and looking at the plans, (which were very well thought out) it would be hard for them to come up with an alternative solution to what they proposed

It looks like McDonalds may have actually lost this one.....
Thanks for information, I didn't read the objection or the planning application, I just know Maccy D's from old, they normally get their own way, lets hope Maccy D's do lose this one, it will be so good if the small bloke (so to speak) beat the big bully like Maccy D's. Good luck to all concerned at the Bitterne, Shaky included.
[quote][p][bold]GordonTheMoron[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Outside of the Box[/bold] wrote: Maccy D's will be back, the section 106 is more than likely the stumbling block, it used the case that any developer would build a park or something similar near the site, however the council can no longer afford to have parks/play area's gifted because they can't afford to maintain them. Maccy D's could offer a percentage of staff to be employed from the locality, they could even to fund youth provision in the boys club across the park, under the 106, either of these I believe would be very acceptable to the Council.[/p][/quote]Check out the planning application objection reasons and you'll see the 106 was only a minor factor. The main reason was that the building is now registered as an Asset of Community Value. The second factor was the traffic proposals....and looking at the plans, (which were very well thought out) it would be hard for them to come up with an alternative solution to what they proposed It looks like McDonalds may have actually lost this one.....[/p][/quote]Thanks for information, I didn't read the objection or the planning application, I just know Maccy D's from old, they normally get their own way, lets hope Maccy D's do lose this one, it will be so good if the small bloke (so to speak) beat the big bully like Maccy D's. Good luck to all concerned at the Bitterne, Shaky included. Outside of the Box
  • Score: 2

4:22pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Micle1974 says...

Just sell it to McD's
The queues at hedge end drive through at peak times are crazy!
Just sell it to McD's The queues at hedge end drive through at peak times are crazy! Micle1974
  • Score: -3

4:46pm Thu 6 Feb 14

wwozzer says...

It seems 13 people don't like the reality that the land is worth far more than the $hithole slowly sinking in to it.

I doubt if the brewery even own the land, some faceless third party does, possibly even the council but whoever it is they will be as keen as mustard to get a maccy d's on there.
It seems 13 people don't like the reality that the land is worth far more than the $hithole slowly sinking in to it. I doubt if the brewery even own the land, some faceless third party does, possibly even the council but whoever it is they will be as keen as mustard to get a maccy d's on there. wwozzer
  • Score: 0

5:01pm Thu 6 Feb 14

S!monOn says...

KSO16R wrote:
Macdonalds will cater for a wider section of the community than the pub does. The 'campaigners' might not like it but thats a fact. Where is the nearest macdonalds?
About 2 miles away....
[quote][p][bold]KSO16R[/bold] wrote: Macdonalds will cater for a wider section of the community than the pub does. The 'campaigners' might not like it but thats a fact. Where is the nearest macdonalds?[/p][/quote]About 2 miles away.... S!monOn
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Thu 6 Feb 14

megacycle says...

yet another traditional pub desperately trying to avoid disappearing from our city forever. this one due to be replaced with a"restaurant"- great, I will be able to go in, sit at a table, order a drink and a freshly prepared meal from a fully trained chef.
or maybe I'll go to the grill on the hill restaurant, or the happy garden restaurant, or papa john's restaurant, or the frying fish restaurant, or the mystery restaurant..... we don't need a mcdonalds "restaurant", it'll just be a chav magnet and turn our streets into a mcdustbin.
yet another traditional pub desperately trying to avoid disappearing from our city forever. this one due to be replaced with a"restaurant"- great, I will be able to go in, sit at a table, order a drink and a freshly prepared meal from a fully trained chef. or maybe I'll go to the grill on the hill restaurant, or the happy garden restaurant, or papa john's restaurant, or the frying fish restaurant, or the mystery restaurant..... we don't need a mcdonalds "restaurant", it'll just be a chav magnet and turn our streets into a mcdustbin. megacycle
  • Score: 3

10:42pm Thu 6 Feb 14

SOULJACKER says...

Well done Thornhill, we just need to stop the rot of big business now & tell them to f*** off!
Tesco & Maccy D's are making big bucks on the old pub sites & don't give a dam about community spirit & neighbourhoods, they just want to create traffic jams & take your money.
We really don't need anymore, tell them to f*** off & be done with it!
I know there will be your usual types saying that it wasn't paying for itself etc.....but you can't keep that capitolist argument forever!
Well done Thornhill, we just need to stop the rot of big business now & tell them to f*** off! Tesco & Maccy D's are making big bucks on the old pub sites & don't give a dam about community spirit & neighbourhoods, they just want to create traffic jams & take your money. We really don't need anymore, tell them to f*** off & be done with it! I know there will be your usual types saying that it wasn't paying for itself etc.....but you can't keep that capitolist argument forever! SOULJACKER
  • Score: 3

6:28am Fri 7 Feb 14

septuagenarian says...

As a teatotaller I have no axe to grind regards losing a pub,BUT, it is just not the place for a fast food outlet and seeing the number of fat bellies on the school run, they ought to be closing a few Mcdonalds.
As a teatotaller I have no axe to grind regards losing a pub,BUT, it is just not the place for a fast food outlet and seeing the number of fat bellies on the school run, they ought to be closing a few Mcdonalds. septuagenarian
  • Score: 1

12:21pm Fri 7 Feb 14

sammii says...

The reputation of this pub is terrible and quite frankly I completely see why! I live right next to this pub and would never go in there, my husband went to watch the football in there and said never again! in fact he would rather pay for a taxi to town instead. There has been a lot of noise, with bikers who find it necessary the rev the engine as much as possible never minding the time. Then there's the drugs, which is well known in this pub. If it came to it I would rather a McDonald's there in all honestly (well anything for that matter) but I do think it would be great if there was a nice harvester or hungry horse there me and my family would use that a lot.
The reputation of this pub is terrible and quite frankly I completely see why! I live right next to this pub and would never go in there, my husband went to watch the football in there and said never again! in fact he would rather pay for a taxi to town instead. There has been a lot of noise, with bikers who find it necessary the rev the engine as much as possible never minding the time. Then there's the drugs, which is well known in this pub. If it came to it I would rather a McDonald's there in all honestly (well anything for that matter) but I do think it would be great if there was a nice harvester or hungry horse there me and my family would use that a lot. sammii
  • Score: 1

7:09pm Fri 7 Feb 14

mike coll says...

the place is crap, I was last in there some ten years ago and it was a dive then, BUT Mc Crap, with the kids thinking its fun, the kids are eating rubbish, the parents take them there as they cant be bothered to cook some correct food for them.
However a micro pub would work in the row of shops next to the pub, far less overheads and better all round surroundings, but no mc crap please.
the place is crap, I was last in there some ten years ago and it was a dive then, BUT Mc Crap, with the kids thinking its fun, the kids are eating rubbish, the parents take them there as they cant be bothered to cook some correct food for them. However a micro pub would work in the row of shops next to the pub, far less overheads and better all round surroundings, but no mc crap please. mike coll
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Soulrebel One says...

I can still see the Bittern going the same way as the old Hampton Park/Tanners/Black cat, money talks in the end, be thankful it wasn't the University of Southampton buying it, they would have bulldozed it and put a car park/garden of weeds in it's place by now(see the old Crown and Sceptre and Gate sites in Burgess road for examples)Mind you, those two pubs were destroyed by the druggies/punch tavern/a.n other in the end, despite The Gate beeing on that site since 1839.
A cramped Stile inn drinker
I can still see the Bittern going the same way as the old Hampton Park/Tanners/Black cat, money talks in the end, be thankful it wasn't the University of Southampton buying it, they would have bulldozed it and put a car park/garden of weeds in it's place by now(see the old Crown and Sceptre and Gate sites in Burgess road for examples)Mind you, those two pubs were destroyed by the druggies/punch tavern/a.n other in the end, despite The Gate beeing on that site since 1839. A cramped Stile inn drinker Soulrebel One
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree