A COUNCIL-owned pub in Taunton looks set to be demolished and replaced by eight zero carbon affordable homes.

Somerset West and Taunton Council has applied for planning permission to knock down the Oxford Inn, on the corner of Roman Road and Outer Circle.

It would then build two two-bedroom houses with private gardens; four one-bedroom flats; and two two-bedroom flats. There would be a shared amenity space for people living in the flats.

The two-storey pub, which has been closed for a number of years, is in a state of disrepair and is described as "an eyesore".

The council believes the area needs to be redeveloped to prevent further anti-social behaviour and flytipping.

A report accompanying the planning application says: "Renovations would cost in excess of £600,000; reopening to satisfy any local demand would generate an unsustainably low income, and would harm the viability of other local pubs and community spaces.

"The public house is seen as having little community value and has been permanently closed for some time.

"While there have been attempts to market it, there has been no new buyer, suggesting this is not currently a viable site.

"There is little community value seen in the pub and it has been concluded that the cost of refurbishment would not be financially viable or sustainable."

The report adds: "(It is a) chance to bring a new vision for housing into the area and provide much needed social housing close to the town centre.

A number of council-owned garages which are said to be "underused" would also be bulldozed ahead of construction work on the site. One privately owned garage would remain or be "re-provided".

There would need to be landscaping to mitigate potential overlooking between neighbouring homes and gardens.

The council's submission to its own planners says the existing road access along Roman Road needs to be retained throughout the construction period to allow people to access neighbouring homes.

It adds that the development at the junction of two roads must "turn the corner well" so that it connects with the surroundings.

The report says: "Given the lack of viability of the existing building and its use as a pub, provision of much needed affordable housing is considered a more positive use of this site."