A popular Gooners pub packed full of Arsenal memorabilia is hoping to kick off plans to expand with a shop and flats.

The Gunners on Blackstock Road has been a familiar spot for generations of Arsenal fans, who stop off before and after matches to toast their club’s success or commiserate.

The team running the late-Victorian pub in Highbury have ambitious plans to extend it with a three-storey building at the back.

Their goal is to create a basement area for live music and space for a shop or office and six homes, plus a flat for the pub.

They have agreed to pay £350,000 towards new affordable homes elsewhere in the borough.

The scheme won the backing of the Campaign for Pubs because it “will allow the pub to expand and offer more to customers and thus boost the trade, which is important to give this important and historic pub a successful long-term future, serving the local community, Arsenal fans and visitors”.

Islington Council’s planning department received 47 letters of support, and two objections because residents fear possible noise and disruption, especially late at night.

An earlier plan for the pub was rejected over concerns about loss of amenity and light for neighbouring homes, with “excessive and unsympathetic extensions”.

The planning committee also felt the proposed three-bedroom homes did not reflect the need for smaller properties in Islington.

The new scheme has a mix of homes with one, two or four bedrooms.

A report for next Thursday’s planning committee (January 27) says the new scheme is an improvement on the previous one and recommends approving it.

In August 2018 the pub found itself “under threat” after a mysterious licensing meeting at the town hall.

Pub management had feared for its future after the pub was subject of the secretive licensing sub committee meeting.