The grade II listed Jolly Sailor public house, Land's End Road, Old
Bursledon was yesterday dealt a devastating blow when plans for the
destruction of its historic interior were approved.
Despite a campaign by the pub's locals together with CAMRA, the Campaign for
Real Ale, officials at Eastleigh Borough Council recommended that the
proposals be approved, and last night the Bursledon, Hamble and Hound Local
Area Committee voted in favour of this recommendation.
The pub's owners, Dorset brewers Hall & Woodhouse, now have permission to
rip out the two existing bars and replace them with a new single bar in
another part of the building. This will result in the complete destruction
of the pub's character and traditional feel. The front (riverside) room of
the pub will have its bar completely removed, destroying its atmosphere
South Hampshire CAMRA branch chairman Ian Black said, "This is devastating
news. Nobody other than Hall & Woodhouse wants these changes. The local
residents don't want it; the pub's regulars don't want it; the Parish
Council voted unanimously against it; over 800 people have signed a petition
saying they don't want it; there were at least 40 letters of objection to
the council about these plans and not one letter in favour; Government
guidelines on listed buildings show that these plans should never have been
accepted - yet somehow the planners and the local committee, who are supposed
to represent the people, have reached a
different conclusion. I am at a loss to explain how such overwhelming
opposition to such destructive plans can produce this result."
He added: "The plans for the interior amount to ripping the heart out of the
pub. It's part of the local heritage and, particularly given its listed
building status (which includes the interior), the owners and the planning
authorities have a duty to preserve it in its current form. They have
failed utterly in this regard. The case officer's presentation was biased;
the councillors were clearly not interested in what we had to say and appeared
to have made up their minds before the meeting even took place. One councillor
even made a joke out of the situation, and the case officer said that government
guidelines that should have prevented this travesty were "quoted out of context".
It was a depressing farce."
Mr Black continued, "This appalling decision makes a mockery of the planning
process and of the idea that listed building status confers any sort of
protection. The rape of our country's heritage is being allowed to continue
in the pursuit of a fast buck despite extremely strong local, national and
international opposition. Two bar pubs are becoming increasingly rare and
the Jolly Sailor is a particularly special example known the world over.
This is a very sad day indeed."