Hempstead pub could serve drinks again after planners refuse to approve change-of-use application

The Hare and Hounds, Hempstead
The Hare and Hounds at Hempstead is applying to change into a house because of the lack of local regulars and cheap supermarket drink
GV of the pub
For:EDP / NNN
Copy:Richard Batson The Hare and Hounds, Hempstead The Hare and Hounds at Hempstead is applying to change into a house because of the lack of local regulars and cheap supermarket drink GV of the pub For:EDP / NNN Copy:Richard Batson

Thursday, May 15, 2014
5:59 PM

A village pub in Hempstead could serve drinks once again after planners voted today to refuse a change-of-use application to convert it into a home.

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The Hare and Hound closed in 2010 and has since remained empty because owner Valerie Purkiss said there had not been enough customers for the business to remain viable.

The applicant had also said appropriate drainage for a commercial business like a pub on that site would have stretched to £65,000 per year.

Mrs Purkiss, who lives nearby, said no one from the local community had contacted her since she closed the pub.

She said: “It was never used by the parish council and it is not big enough to make too much of a profit.

“We have been totally unable to get the trade and support from the local community.”

She also said because the pub had been empty for four years, it would need a lot of work to allow it to reopen.

The application had previously been deferred to have figures submitted by Mrs Purkiss for a new sewerage system - which she said would cost £140,000.

They were deferred again in April this year to allow Baconsthorpe Parish Council to have its say.

And the plans had been recommended by officers for approval at a North Norfolk District planning meeting today.

But councillors voted to go against the officer recommendation and refused the planning application, suggesting more could be done to sell the pub and explore other drainage options.

Councillor Mike Baker said they needed to think carefully about making a quick decision which would throw away the pub’s 225-year history.

He said: “As far as selling property I would make the case that it is quite impossible to fail to sell anything.

“It is too expensive, it is as simple as that. If you put something at the right price you will sell.”

Mr Baker said he first visited the Hare and Hound in the mid 1960s. He said: “I stopped using it because became not a nice place to go and have a drink, certainly not a nice place to go and eat.

“Sometimes it was closed and that made me think we are going to see this have an application for a house. It has been deliberately run down.”

Mrs Purkiss said she would be appealing the decision.

3 comments

  • Mr B It wouldn't be a hard act to follow!

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    windup

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • Maybe one of the public servants (councillors) should take it over. See if they can make a success of it if they're that confident? Or will they, as usual, expect somebody else to do it, while they sit back and wait for their taxes to roll in.

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    jeffbridges769

    Friday, May 16, 2014

  • Used to live near it, used it occasionally. Nice pub, useless publicans, says it all really!

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    windup

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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