A POPULAR Cheriton pub has won permission to expand and modernise.

The Flower Pots, on Brandy Mount, proposed a single-storey extension, including removal of a toilet block and marquee to create improved toilets, outside bar and circulation space together with replacement ancillary functions room.

There is already permission for an improved kitchen.

Local ward city councillor Hugh Lumby wrote in support of the plan: “Pubs form a vital part of the fabric of rural communities, especially as other amenities increasingly close. They help support the local economy, provide local employment and help attract visitors to the area. However, they increasingly need to adapt to survive.

“The proposals here are well designed and in keeping with the village. They provide much-needed improvements, including the removal of an unsightly (but very functional) marquee and its replacement with much better and long term buildings.

“The improvements will all make the pub more usable and sustainable, helping protect jobs and its long term future. In the shorter term it will also make it much more user friendly if Covid-19 requires longer term changes to how public amenities are operated."

Villager David Pain, of Alresford Road, agreed. “As a resident of Cheriton for the past 15 years I recognise that The Flower Pots is a ‘destination’ which attracts customers from a wide area within and without the South Downs National Park. Mainly these are attracted by the products of the on-site micro brewery. This benefits the local economy by providing jobs but it has no negative effects on the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of this part of the Park. I believe that in future even more customers would be attracted by the additional prospect of good, wholesome food as a result of the proposed alterations to the kitchen and function room.”

The parish council said: “The expansion plans are thoughtful and add to the functionality of the building in a way that should support the sustainability of the business. The plans do not detract from the appearance of the building, indeed, they will, the parish council believe, enhance the current appearance (eg better use of land, removal of the 'marquee', enhancement of the garden, repositioning of the car park.”

Planners for the South Downs National Park approved the plan using delegated powers.