From freehouse to House of Multiple Occupation - the last ever 'last orders' will soon be called at the Rodwell pub on Boot Hill, Weymouth.

A planning application to convert the building into an eight-unit HMO has been submitted to Weymouth & Portland Borough Council on behalf of the owner.

The planning application says: "It is our intention to convert the property to a House of Multiple Occupancy.

"The public house is not used as a community asset and no other functions or meetings for the community use the public house.

"The public house as a business barely breaks even and on many occasions the owners have to help fund the business."

According to a neighbour, the pub has a regular customer base and is relied upon by vulnerable people.

They said: "It's highly used as a hub of the local community - there are around 40 people who can't go anywhere else - it's a place where people keep an eye on each other."

Tony Egerton, secretary of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) West Dorset said: "It is sad to lose any pub - the Rodwell certainly isn't on the tourist circuit but it's a community sort of pub, frequented by locals with regular support from customers."

Councillor for Weymouth East Jon Orrell said: "It is a shame that so many pubs are closing.

"It is not that people are not drinking, rather they are drinking at home in isolation.

"There's something to be said for increasing taxes on supermarket alcohol and reducing it in pubs - it is better for community life to keep pubs open.

"Landlords can also tell people when they've had too much as at home there are no limits."

According to latest figures from CAMRA an average of 18 pubs close every week in Britain.

Dave Harris, chairman of CAMRA West Dorset said: "From CAMRA's point of view it's sad to see any pub that's a community hub close, but if it's no longer viable as a business there may no other option."

Attempts were made to contact the owners for comment.