Plan for houses and flats on Plymouth's former Blue Monkey pub site
A DEVELOPER has revealed his scaled-back housing plan for the landmark Blue Monkey pub site.
Weymouth-based Vital Homes had a £500,000 plan for five houses on the St Budeaux plot rejected by Plymouth City Council, and then lost an appeal against the decision.
But after talks with neighbours and planners the firm has now re-submitted an application which pares back the scheme to two houses and two apartments in a terraced development.
Vital Homes boss Stephen Vitali said he had looked at the proposal again after listening to planners and people living near the Crownhill Road site.
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"I have spent a lot of time designing it," he said. "We have had a lot of dialogue with planners and the community."
The site was once home to the famous Blue Monkey Inn, which was a landmark when Crownhill Road was on the main route from the South West in pre-Parkway days.
A pub has stood on the site since 1798, when it was called the Church Inn.
But the pub was demolished in 2007 after being unoccupied for seven years and twice attacked by arsonists.
All that remains of the pub today is the original hardstandings.
Developers have been unsuccessfully trying to get permission to build on the site since 2002.
"It was quite a contentious site with local people," said Mr Vitali, who bought the site at an auction two years ago.
"Nothing has happened there as a result."
Mr Vitali, aged 47, said that if he receives planning consent he anticipates starting construction work this summer.
He said the scheme would cost about £500,000 including the cost of purchasing the land.
The plans include a parking space for each dwelling and the creation of a new public footpath.
"I bought it with fresh vigour," Mr Vitali said. "I put in an application but it didn't go as planned. I went to appeal but that was turned down too.
"So we have now put a second set of plans in. They said it was overdeveloped at five houses, and we need to cut it back – which is what we have done."
He added: "This project is my first attempt at building new homes. It is by far the biggest project I will have ever undertaken.
"I would hope to create local employment and much needed housing."
Mr Vitali is a former Royal Naval aircraft technician in the Fleet Air Arm.
He left the Navy in 2007 and became a property developer.
He is now planning to move to Plymouth, to be near his two children who live in the city, and has just bought a house in Plympton St Maurice.
"I'm looking to relocate there in the near future," he said.
This latest planning application is available to comment on now until Tuesday, February 19, on Plymouth City Council's website.