Plans to replace a popular pub with student flats could be scuppered after archaeological remains were found.

Prehistoric activity has been discovered near The Firehouse Pub, which closed its doors for good last year.

Civic chiefs last year gave the green light for the watering hole to be transformed into a 13-storey block of flats.

But the latest discovery could yet throw a spanner in the works.

(Image: Newsquest)

As part of the conditional approval, developers were instructed to submit an archaeological damage assessment to Southampton City Council before any work can start.

The report, drawn up by Wessex Archaeology, outlines that the construction works "have the potential to truncate, disturb or completely remove buried archaeological remains", including relatively undisturbed deposits in certain areas.

The site is considered to hold potential for remains dating from the Iron Age to the modern period, according to the report.

Aspects of the building work could be deemed as "intrusive".

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The report goes on to state that flint flakes – commonly used by early toolmakers – were found Palmerston Park, nearby to the site at the junction of Vincents Walk and Pound Tree Road.

Small amounts of residual Iron Age/Romano British pottery was also recovered.

The developers concluded that the proposed plans could disturb or remove buried remains, and that further archaeological works are necessary.

The ambitious plans were met with controversy when announced and later approved on December 21 of last year.

Fans of Firehouse – an alternative music venue – tried to battle the proposals in a bid to save their favourite joint.

One objector said: “The Firehouse is a cornerstone of the alternative music scene in Southampton, attracting people from outside the city.

“Losing the bar/venue will have a negative cultural impact for the sake of additional student accommodation that could be built elsewhere.”

Danehurst Developments, the London-based firm which will carry out the plans, described the proposed building as a “landmark”.

The development includes a gym, study area and laundry rooms, as well as communal space and extensive cycle parking facilities.

The planning statement which accompanied the application said the 139 student flats will ease the shortage of student accommodation in the city.

The plans also cited an inevitable boost to the city centre by increasing spending and footfall.

Planners at the city council will now consider the findings before deciding whether to sign off the development for work to begin.