A POPULAR Southampton music venue will be relocated if plans to flatten its current site and build a 13-storey tower block are approved next week, it can be revealed.

However, almost 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for proposals to bulldoze Firehouse bar in Vincents Walk to be axed – with 1,100 of these pledging support to the “loved venue” within the first 24-hours.

The application has also angered city park campaigners who say the high rise would have a “seriously detrimental impact” on Palmerston and Houndswell Parks, which it would overlook.

Yet, Southampton City Council planning officers have earmarked the proposals for delegated approval, with committee members to have the final say on Tuesday (Feb 26).

Officers say this approach has been taken because “this venue has not been nominated or listed as an Asset of Community Value”

But, as part of a response to concerns from campaigners, officers did confirm that the applicant Terramek Developments Ltd has, along with the bar’s management, been looking for an “alternative venue” for the past 18 months.

They added: “As part of this, they have drawn up a wish list of alternative (existing) pubs with the management company and the current pub manager. Local agents have been instructed to establish the feasibility of these sites. The applicants have indicated that they wish to find a new venue for The Firehouse before the site is redeveloped.

“The applicants have indicated that it is not practical to re-incorporate the venue into the redevelopment for noise impact reasons.”

If approved, the new tower block will be home to 11 two-bed and 28 one-bed flats, as well as an 160sqm retail unit on the ground floor.

As reported, the dispute comes just months after another iconic venue, The Talking Heads closed its doors for the last time.

Petition organiser Aimee Mullan, who has been a Firehouse regular for a decade, said she just wanted “the chance to show that the Firehouse is a loved venue and shouldn’t be taken away”.

Managers at the bar added that they were “thoroughly humbled and blown away” by the rally from locals.

Bargate Ward Councillor John Noon was another to have a say.

He said: “I’m disappointed that we are losing another pub in the city centre, but I’m not necessarily disappointed that we are building homes in the city centre. We need them.

“The buildings have got to be appropriate for the area.”

The plans will be discussed by councillors at Southampton City Council’s Planning Committee on February 26. This meeting will take place at 6pm in the Civic Centre.

To have sign the petition visit: goo.gl/vdHqXf