TIME has been called on controversial plans for a pub and restaurant in Popley, as proposals were thrown out at a development control meeting last week.

Plans for a pub in Carpenter’s Down that were proposed by Marston’s Brewery were submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

However, councillors at the meeting on September 6 decided to reject the plans. The idea, detailed a ‘Generous George’ style pub which is the family-centred brand of Marston’s, was to cater for 150 covers, as well as provide 54 car parking spaces.

Tracey McCarley, of Orkney Close, said at the meeting: “Increased traffic from customers and delivery vehicles accessing the site, along with the already poor visibility on this section of Shetland Road, would compromise the safety of local residents, their children and drivers.

“There’s a history of pubs in Popley, all of which have been closed due to the prevalence of anti-social behaviour.

“We are aware that the site is being used by travellers and for this reason are in favour of development in the future, however a pub is inappropriate given the history of pubs in Popley.”

Though the plans had numerous objections, they were recommended for council approval. However, councillors elected not to pass the plans.

John McElholm, who represented Marston’s, said at the meeting: “The proposal is for a family pub and restaurant, not just a pub. We are focused on food sales, not just alcohol sales. Our facilities are intended for families to bring their kids and encourage the family to eat their dinner together.

“We operate our facilities to specifically deter anti-social behaviour, with CCTV for example. We also seek to discourage casual drinking in favour of family dining. We recognise concerns that have been raised with regard to resident amenity, but our proposals have been fully assessed by council officers who have concluded they are acceptable in terms of noise and disturbance.”

Popley East councillor David Potter said: “We are pleased about the decision of the development control committee who recognised the detrimental impact on local residents. We recognise that Marston’s may choose to appeal the decision but we hope they won’t in light of the widespread opposition to their proposals.

“Sometimes developers need to recognise they have a responsibility that goes beyond the best interests of their shareholders and react positively to the wishes of the local community. Their reputation will be enhanced if they choose another site for their project.” The Fire Authority as landowners also need to consider again their reputation as a public body and what protecting the public really means.