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Flats and shops scheme for Christchurch pub 'all part of Mary Portas' plan'
A CHRISTCHURCH pub will be eradicated to make way for flats and a new shop, should new plans get the go-ahead.
The Royalty Inn, Bargates will be closing after a scheme for a new shop and flats was submitted to Christchurch Borough Council.
It is understood the pub will close early next year if the scheme is approved.
The Edwardian building will be kept and renovated to house three one-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom flat as well as a shop on the ground floor.
It is not yet decided what the shop will be.
The outbuildings and extensions of the pub will be demolished and a two-storey building with two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats put up.
David Jobbins, from planning agent, Nicholas James Group, said: “A shop is a better use for the ground floor and the planners are very supportive as they are keen for us to keep a commercial activity on that road.
“We plan to replicate the Edwardian style with the buildings at the rear of the current pub.
“It is all part of Mary Portas’ High Street recommendations which say in order to keep them alive, we need to allow more flexibility when changes to use are proposed.”
Peter Watson-Lee, president of Christchurch Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: “The Royalty Inn is a long established and well-known local pub and it would be a shame to see it close and the job losses that would result.
“Against that, it is on the very edge of the town centre and one has to recognise the changing retail environment may well result in a smaller, more tight-knit, retail core.
“We have already had a couple of these applications for the Waterford and the Crooked Beams and it is difficult to know whether one should or can realistically stand against market forces.
“At least here the proposal includes some retail retention.”
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