WINCHESTER civic chiefs are considering trying to buy a former city pub and building homes on the site.

City councillors discussed the New Queens Head site in Stanmore in confidential session at the overview and scrutiny committee on Monday (FEB18).

Bargate Homes had twice applied for planning permission to knock down the pub and build houses as well as a convenience store.

The developer has now ended its interest in the plot which is still owned by Enterprise Inns.

The Chronicle understands the city council is potentially interested in purchasing the site. It also owns land adjacent to the site which would make it a more attractive site for housing.

The New Queens Head is the last pub in Stanmore following the closure in 2009 of the Stanmore Hotel. It was later demolished to make way for a care home.

Winchester City Council is currently carrying out a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise to find places to be considered for new housing.

The deadline for submission of such sites is Noon tomorrow (Friday February 22).

The exercise comes just a week after Winchester local plan part 1 was approved by a planning inspector.

James Cleary, managing director of Hursley-based Pro Vision Planning and Design, said of the ‘call for sites’: “Now the strategy is in place the focus will now shift towards the identification of sites to make up development land allocations needed in settlements such as Bishop's Waltham, Alresford and Kings Worthy where a wide range of alternatives will be considered.”