HERE we go again.
Campaigners are preparing for round two in the fight to save an historic city pub after efforts to save it from a global fast food chain were dealt another blow.
Supporters and regulars at The Bittern pub were celebrating just months ago after proposals to turn it into a McDonald’s restaurant and drive through were thrown out by city planners.
But the hamburger giant has thrown its hat back into the ring after lodging an appeal over the decision with the under secretary of state for planning.
McDonald’s lodged a planning application last year to build a two-storey restaurant on the site of the watering hole in Thornhill Park Road.
Supporters of the pub, which has been a staple of the community since the 1930s, rallied together to save the pub from closure.
Their efforts managed to secure the building asset of community value status and there were joyous scenes when Southampton City Council planners rejected McDonald’s proposals.
However the Daily Echo can reveal the restaurant’s appeal will be dealt with by a public inquiry.
Glen McInnes, manager of The Bittern, was notified of the appeal by a letter from the city council and plans to make representations against McDonald’s decision.
He said: “It seems like they are taking no notice of the council.
“It’s upsetting because we thought we had gone past the timescale of when they could appeal.”
A McDonald’s spokesman confirmed the appeal has been lodged and hope to create 65 new jobs if the restaurant is built on the site.
They said: “Having taken on board feedback from our initial application, we have made minor amendments to our plans around highways and access to the site.
“As a business we contribute more than £8 million to the Southampton economy each year and we support over 540 local jobs.
“We are committed to continuing to invest in this area and a new restaurant in Bitterne will enable us to create at least 65 additional jobs.”
Pub’s hospital fundraiser
THE Bittern is holding a fundraising day for Southampton General Hospital.
Live music, a bouncy castle, face painting, and a raffle are just some of the attractions at the Thornhill Park Road venue’s fundraiser on Sunday.
The event, which starts at 2pm, will raise money for the chemotherapy ward at Southampton General Hospital.