May 24 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Supporters of Reepham’s oldest pub are gathering at the town hall tomorrow night (Wednesday, January 9) to voice concerns over plans to convert it into a private house.
The Crown, in Ollands Road, has been on the market for two years after its owners, Staffordshire-based Punch Taverns, decided to sell the asset which has been a traditional public house since 1861.
But plans have now been submitted for a change of use to residential, believed to be by a local couple looking to buy the property, which is on the market for £300,000, should permission be granted.
Broadland councillor and town council vice chairman Chris Wheeler said earlier today that there was a huge amount of support in the town to keep the pub as a business.
“It is very much still open for business but as Punch Taverns put up a huge “For Sale” board outside it looks as though it has already closed,” he said. “The landlord Philip Shaw is doing his best to keep it running but they can’t invest in it if they don’t know what the future of the pub is going to be.
“It will be a great shame if it does go to residential for all sorts of reasons but having spoken to the planning department at Broadland they are mindful of the fact that there is a large public opinion swayed against it happening.”
He said he expected a good turnout at a public meeting with people expressing their support for the pub.
“It is really the only traditional drinking pub in Reepham now and there is a strong feeling that it should be kept that way,” he said.
“There are potentially more houses to be built in Reepham and we could lose a valuable community asset. Provided enough people vote with their feet at the meeting my job will be to call it in for a full council meeting before Friday morning.
“I understand that the Save Our Pubs group are also interested in making sure people are aware that we cannot lose a resource like this.”
The planning application seeks to turn the pub into a five-bedroomed home. Applicants Mr & Mrs Garron and Mrs Helen Monk would slightly decrease the footprint of the existing building and convert the current customer car park into a private garden.
A design and access statement submitted with the application says: “The appearance of the building will not change dramatically from the current elevations.”
The Crown has been a traditional public house since 1861 and was originally three houses which were converted in to one. If it were to close it would leave just one remaining pub, the Kings Arms, and the Old Brewery House Hotel to serve the town.
The meeting at the town hall on Church Street starts at 7.30pm.
Terrorism returned to the streets of London today as two suspected Muslim fanatics butchered a man in broad daylight in the name of “Allah”.
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