A PROMINENT pub in the St Julians area of Newport is up for sale.

The leasehold of the Centurion in Heather Road, which is still open and operating as normal, has been put on the market, and it is understood talks with a potential buyer are nearing completion.

Although the site itself is owned by Newport City Council, the leasehold is currently held by pub chain ei Publican Partnerships.

Although rumours have been circulating on social media that the site is to be sold to a property developer and redeveloped as flats, in a letter to St Julians campaigner Michael Enea seen by the Argus, a spokesman from the company said the lease contains a clause stating the building can only be used as a ‘licensed victual house’ .

This means a buyer wishing to change the use of the building or redevelop the site would need the council's authorisation, as well as planning permission, to do so.

The spokesman said: "As a result the sale that we have agreed with a third party is proceeding on the basis that the site is a public house and we will be transferring the premises licence to them upon completion," they said.

The leasehold, when ownership of a property is held for a fixed period of time before reverting back to the previous owner, in this case Newport City Council, of the building expires in 2057.

But Mr Enea said he remained concerned the new owner would apply to redevelop the site, saying: "The community want a straight answer."