The University of Southampton is to flatten two pubs in the Basset area despite efforts by the local community to preserve at least one of them. The pubs are to be demolished on the first of June to make way for car parking spaces in the universities expansion plan, unless the city council intervenes.
The pubs – The Crown and Sceptre and The Gate, both on Basset Road – have been closed the last couple of years as part of a nationwide trend of local pubs being undercut by chains and supermarket pricing, and have been acquired by the university in order to make space for car parking. Part of The Gate is a listed building with history into the 18th century, whilst The Crown and Sceptre was built in 1931 in mock Tudor style on the site of an old drinking area. The pubs have been part of the community for generations, and many residents have been upset to see them closed for so long and now threatened with demolition. Basset Road has also seen slow degradation over the years, which residents point out won’t be helped by their replacement with a few more parking spaces.
Although campaigners have accepted the loss of The Gate as inevitable, the proposed demolition of The Crown and Sceptre has struck a chord, as it would only create a few parking spaces and many deem it unnecessary to demolish it. Instead, local campaigners are seeking support from the council and university to keep it open for the local community, with the university as the landlords. If it can’t be kept open as a pub, it has also been suggested the building could easily be converted and kept either for community use or used as affordable housing.
However, time is running out, with demolition due to occur on the 1st June. The campaigners are hoping for the council to step in and stop this so that negotiations can take place on the pub’s future. To this end, they’re asking people to sign a petition against the demolition, join the facebook group supporting them and directly object to the council – ways for anyone to take object can be found at the end of the article here.
One petitioner sums up the local residents’ feelings:
The Crown and Sceptre pub has been a part of both the local community and university community for as long as we can all remember. It’s an important landmark. It needs to stay. It’s worth keeping and is important for everyone. I am feel(sic) confident that the University can find somewhere else so(sic) expand.
– This article is an Extract from original article published on The Dolphin’s Blowhole http://thedolphinsblowhole.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/local-pub-to-be-flattened-by-university-despite-community-objections/ –