AN expanding country gun shop is set to replace a popular bar which shut down earlier this month.

Greenfield Guns on Milford Street has agreed to buy nextdoor Zoo bar after the owners of the late night venue feared noise complaints from a planned housing development.

Zoo owner Kev Welch said that he had sold the bar because “developments and late venues don’t mix”. A plan to build ten modern apartments and two shops on the site of the former White Rooms, which adjoins Zoo on the other side, has been resubmitted after it was rejected by councillors.

“It is very difficult when people are leaving together,” he said. “You are going to get a certain amount of noise and I know from experience that complaints will start coming in and the next thing is I need to employ legal people to deal with it.

“We had other avenues to go down and we had an offer on the place so we went with it.”

Despite selling, Mr Welch, who also owns Yoyo bar, said the late night economy in Salisbury remains strong, helped by a number of newly opened restaurants.

Alan Pike, who owns Greenfield Guns, said buying the former bar will bring the whole building, which dates back to the 13th century, under the same ownership again.

The shop holds a large stock of guns and Mr Pike wanted to expand as he was “running out of room”.

Gun laws prevent sales from being made over the internet meaning people travel the length of the country to buy from Salisbury.

“It is very much a niche market which we operate in but we cover a wide area,” Mr Pike said. “Although there are 40 to 50 specialist gun suppliers there are not many of our size. For gun purchases we do a good service and have got very knowledgeable staff.”