A VILLAGE pub is set to be demolished after councillors gave permission for a new care home.

The Queen’s Head at Fisher’s Pond has been closed since the pandemic in March 2020.

A 60-bed care home is proposed on the site on the corner of Portsmouth and Winchester Roads.

City council planning officer Liz Marsden said the developer had made efforts on the design. It will be a nursing home, including dementia care.

Colden Common Parish Council objected, saying several care homes have closed because of the difficulty in recruiting staff.

Parish councillor Maggie Hill told the planning committee: “It will be too big for the over-stretched local GP surgeries. There is no operational need for this in a countryside location.”

With poor public transport link the 20 parking spaces for staff and visitors would be insufficient.

Planning agent Anna Gillings told the planning committee there would be a staff minibus to address access. The car park would not be overloaded because some residents did not get many visitors. “It is a sad state of affairs but visitor numbers are not one to one. sad as that may be.”

She said the care home would generate less traffic than the pub.

Cllr Mike Read told the committee: “My concern is its huge size. It is a huge building that is going to suddenly appear. It is going to be closer to the road than the pub so that will make it more imposing. It is the effect of it on the countryside.”

Committee chairman Therese Evans said: “The pub has been struggling for years. It tried a change of name, changing colour. It went to a green shade at some stage. One can understand the disappointment the building is going. I understand, it is time to move on.”

Planning officers recommended approval and the committee agreed.