Community rallies to save local pub from conversion

A group of local residents in Norfolk successfully argued that a local public house which had been designated as an asset of community value should be retained. A proposal to convert it into a dwelling was refused.

The village was identified as a key rural service centre and the council’s policies sought to resist the loss of community facilities unless the use was unviable or no longer feasible. The nearest alternative pub was in a village one and a half miles distant and other pubs were located in settlements even further away. However, the appellant stated that the property had been marketed since August 2019 for sale or lease and no party had made any offer. While viable, the profits would be low, the appellant claimed, and the risk involved would not justify the investment.

Nonetheless, the inspector noted the strong support from local residents regarding retaining the public house and a group had been set up to devise a plan for its acquisition. This also reinforced the likelihood that the pub would be viable and well used by residents. More housing was planned in the village and accordingly the inspector was not convinced that the pub would be unviable.

Inspector: Nick Palmer; Written representations

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