A POPULAR pub has now been saved.

Town bosses in Romsey approved plans to build three three-bedroom and two two-bedroom homes in part of the Four Horseshoes pub grounds in Nursling.

The move will create more than 70 jobs and will pump vital cash into a project aimed at refurbishing the watering hole.

As previously reported, the Four Horseshoes is in need of costly renovation, including the replacement of a crumbling extension and has been closed for the past year.

Businessmen Rob Wickens said the profits from the sale of the houses would be pumped into the pub to bring it back to life.

He said: “I’m over the moon. At the moment it’s all demolished inside and it’s having a full major refit of half a million pounds. We hope to bring the end of Nursling Street back to life.”

He said he is hoping the work will start next week so that the pub could reopen in April 2019.

He said the new look pub would create around 25 jobs while 50 construction workers will work at the site.

“We have saved it and without the houses who knows what would have happened,”he added.

Nick Adams-King, deputy council leader at Test Valley Borough Council, said: “This was a difficult application for us to determine. We wanted to ensure the residents of houses built so close to the motorway would benefit from as much protection as possible from noise and pollution. Thanks to the hard work of TVBC’s planning and environmental health teams I believe we have achieved that, and approved plans to not only bring this vital community asset into use but also improve it at the same time.”