BREWERS Hall and Woodhouse have defended the decision to put forward plans to demolish a pub in Poole.

The proposals to replace The Sloop in Commercial Road with a block of 77 flats have attracted criticism with one objector describing the plans to close the pub as “a shame”.

However, Mark James, Hall and Woodhouse property director, said that despite “significant investment” the pub has been unprofitable for “many years”.

AJ Developments submitted an application to demolish the pub to make way for the block of one and two-bedroom flats at the end of March.

They described the scheme as “entirely acceptable” due to the wider residential development of the area.

An objector to the firm’s application said the scheme would increase traffic congestion and was overdevelopment of the site.

“It seems ludicrous to demolish a perfectly good pub, one of a few with an outside garden of Victorian architecture,” Mr Delve says.

However, Hall and Woodhouse said they had no choice but to sell the site due to the struggles of the pub.

Mr James said: “A number of measures have been put in place over the past six years to help support The Sloop, including a significant investment of £172,000 to update the pub and create a new garden area, and ongoing rental subsidy.

“Despite these and other steps, the pub has proven to be unviable for many years due to a variety of factors.

“The sale of the site to AJ Developments will enable Hall and Woodhouse to reinvest in existing and new public houses in Poole and the surrounding areas.

“Like any business, we have to respond to changes in consumer habits and we thank the local community for their support of The Sloop over the years.”

The planning application will be considered by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council in the coming weeks.