Proposals to turn a Broads pub into a house are refused

09:21 12 September 2015

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

An unpopular proposal to turn a Broads pub into a house has been refused.

The Berney Arms, accessible only by boat, train or a five-mile trek across the marshes, is among the country’s pubs furthest from the beaten track.

Yet owner Raymond Hollocks says falling turnover and decreased river traffic has forced him to look at other options for the business.

Yesterday his planning application to change it into a house was turned down by Broads Authority members after a strong reaction from the local community.

A Broads Tourism spokesman said: “This site is hugely important to tourism in the Broads for walkers, naturalists, sailors and rail enthusiasts to name just a few.

“Is it too late to have constructive dialogue with the inn’s owner to see if there is any way forward to ensure this site’s viability and vitality is protected for future generations?

Halvergate Parish Council also objected to the proposal.

11 comments

  • Actually The Lord Nelson in Reedham only closed last year. In previous years it has held fantastic beer festivals and live music. Due to the ill health of the landlord it got a bit run down and sadly Bill passed away last year. It is now having a total refurb and if it focuses on real ales I'm sure it will attract holiday makers and families alike. We are very lucky to have 3 pubs in a small village, plus a social club, and they all seem to make a living so far.

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    Maxine Thain

    Wednesday, September 16, 2015

  • Perhaps Mr Hollocks should lower his expectations when assessing the rent. It's all to easy to make a pub unviable, charge an unrealistic rent.

    Report this comment

    peter waller

    Monday, September 14, 2015

  • Steve, you can care all you like as a landlord but if no one is walking through the door 330 days of the year then what's the point. All good things come to an end. People are wasting their time, let it go.

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    Resident Smith

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • This, like a lot of pubs, needs a guvvy who cares about the business. Not someone who just appears once a week to collect the takings. You cannot just continue taking from a business without also putting back. For years this place has cried out for someone who knows how to run a difficult business rather than someone who works cheap for an absentee leaseholder (no offence to the paid managers who are just doing a job). The lease holder needs to be standing at the bar, running his business hands on. Many other pubs are failing because of "pubco" operations. My local had to fight off tesco due to a could not care less absentee leasholder. Now the new guy, hands on, is running a thriving pub. This particular pub is very important and must be saved. It just needs somebody who knows how and who cares!

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    Steve Hess

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • The Broads Authority should buy it and run it. After a couple of years they would be begging anyone to buy it as a house. Even with planning permission for residential use it is not worth much. Only a hermit would want to live there in winter.

    Report this comment

    Michael Clintergate

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • Sadly, the Berney Arms is just one of the thousands of pubs that have become nonviable over the last few years. Some are now homes, others are hairdressers, restaurants or convenience stores. If change to a house is disallowed, the only thing the owner can do is try to sell it, (probably at a loss), or leave it to deteriorate to the point that it falls down. Of course, it could be taken over by the Broads Authority, who would then waste public money trying to prolong its demise. As for local community, there is none. The nearest communities, by land, are Reedham & Halvergate. Halvergate manages to support one pub, (just), and neither the Ferry or the Ship in Reedham are packed to capacity these days. The Lord Nelson at Reedham has been closed for several years and is now undergoing extensive rebuilding, but I suspect that, no matter how hard a new owner tries, it will never make much money once reopened. Despite our fondness for hanging on to the past, there comes a time when we have to accept change, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

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    Labratone

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • Running a pub in a city centre is hard enough. You can't make a living selling two pints, a large coke and a J2O a day. I bet all those against the proposal were all over the age of 55 and NEVER go there. I bet it costs a fortune to get stock delivered there. It's time as a pub is past.

    Report this comment

    Resident Smith

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • If it has continually failed over the years, and no one uses it, cannot easily get there and he owns the building why would he want to live in a local land mark ? As others have said people vote with their feet- or in this case boats I guess.

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    Responsible parent

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • well something like that should stay the same not turned in to a house or other words a local landmark

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    NorfolkMan

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • "local community" if the local community supported it and actually used it the landlord would not be in this position, the " local community" have no say in my opinion, they had their chance and voted with their feet.

    Report this comment

    outspoken

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

  • So ''hugely important'' that few people go in there.

    Report this comment

    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

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

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