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Work starts on redeveloping the last pub on Winchester estate
WORK has started on the demolition of a former Winchester pub to make way for up to 20 affordable new homes.
The city council bought the New Queens Head pub in Stanmore for nearly £1m earlier this year with a view to possibly building a flagship community centre on the cleared plot.
It was proposed to relocate the Carroll Centre, scout hut and community association hall in Somers Close recreation ground to a new multi-purpose leisure centre.
But the scheme, proposed by London-based consultants employed by the city council, was dropped as trustees at the Carroll Centre didn’t want to move from the recently refurbished premises that are only 20 years-old.
Now the council says its architects are drawing up a scheme for affordable housing which will be offered mainly to locals.
The council granted itself permission to bulldoze the pub in September because of safety concerns. It was the last pub in Stanmore.
Tory city councillor Jamie Scott, who represents Stanmore, said there was an urgent need for more affordable family homes on the estate.
He said: “It will be council homes predominately but because of the financial viability of the scheme there may have to be some privately rented houses too.
“The council has invested £1m in the land and we have to make sure the scheme stacks up financially.”
The council plans to re-use material from the derelict buildings where possible, including 3,000 roof tiles to transform Abbey Mill in Winchester into River Cottage Canteen.
Council leader Cllr Keith Wood said: “This work is part of the community’s plans for Stanmore. We have reviewed a range of options for the site with local people and are now working up designs to provide 18 to 20 new affordable homes for the benefit of Stanmore residents.
“This is part of the council’s policy to deliver increasing numbers of affordable homes across the district, and to help local people who are struggling to find homes locally.” The demolition and site clearance is estimated to take between four and five weeks.
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