PLANS have been submitted to introduce 36 new retirement flats in Romsey, on land which was earmarked for a pub.

The proposal, submitted to Test Valley Borough Council, is to introduce 15 two bedroom flats, 21 one bedroom flats, with facilities such as a residents lounge, a mobility scooter store, refuse store, office and a guest suite in Abbotswood.

As well as a total of 25 car parking spaces.

The site is north east of Romsey and is bounded by Abbotswood Common Road to the west, Braishfield Road to the east and Freemantle Road to the north.

The existing site is vacant as it is a clear area of land that was set aside as part of the larger overall development of Abbotswood.

The buildings are aimed at over 60s looking to downsize.

The development is by McCarthy and Stone who are Britain's leading retirement accommodation provider.

McCarthy and Stone develop different types of specialised housing for the elderly.

However, Cllr Nick Adams-King, planning portfolio holder at TVBC, said the land was earmarked for a pub.

He said: "The land upon which the care home is proposed was originally set aside for a pub for Abbotswood.

"I’m truly sad that the developers were unable to find an operator who felt a public house would be a viable option in this location.

"I’m sure TVBC will be checking thoroughly that all options have been considered in that respect before approving this application.

"If an alternative use needs to be considered for the site then retirement flats would seem a sensible proposal, given the location's proximity to the local centre shops and to bus routes into Romsey.

"We know there is a growing need for retirement accommodation in the area and therefore this development would meet some of that need."

There will also be regular running buses running along Braishfield Road from Romsey to Winchester, as well as a free summer bus to access the train station.

The retirement flats are part of the new building development planned to have 800 homes.

Head of Planning at TVBC, Paul Jackson, said: “The initial requirement for the land as part of the community development was as a public house and this was marketed as such when planning permission was first granted. However, the application has now been received by the council from the current applicants and we will be assessing the proposals and the evidence provided on its merit.”

For more information on the application go to