It has been used as a beer store, a Scout hut and a rifle range – and now a century-old building is a step closer to being transformed into a £4m housing development.
"We want to convert it with respect"
A planning application to sympathetically redevelop Brewery House, in Hambrook Street, Southsea, into 17 flats have been submitted by Portsmouth City Council's development team following a public open drop-in session last year.
For Kevin Hudson, the council's development manager, it was important a lot of the original structure was preserved. He said: "The key for us is retaining what we have got here.
"If we didn't do this and it was taken on by another developer the chances are that they would just knock this building down.
"We will deal with the building sympathetically."
The project's designer Matt Swanton, from Re-Format Architects, agreed. "We want to convert it with respect," he said.
"Although it's not listed it is locally listed which means it's of historic interest. It's regarded as a post-industrial building of which there are lots in Portsmouth that have been re-purposed really well."
New prospects for much needed homes
The building was used to store bottles from the Long & Co Brewery across the street, which was destroyed during the Second World War. The council bought the premises in the 1950s. Until four years ago it was used by city Scout groups which have since been re-homed.
Ward councillor Chris Attwell was excited about the site’s prospects. He said: "I am really looking forward to people having much needed homes here in Southsea. I think this will be an exciting part of Brewery House's history.
"It's a beautiful building and we should be in the business of keeping our beautiful buildings if possible and providing nice places for people to live."
The development will consist of 13 two-bedroom flats and four one-bedroom flats.
If planning permission is granted then the council hopes to start work on the new homes this summer and have them completed in 2021.
Brewery House is one of five new council home developments that were announced last year as part of Portsmouth's most ambitious council home building programme in a generation.