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What is going on at the Magpie pub?

PUBLISHED: 16:56 23 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:53 24 January 2020

The Magpie pub is now shrouded in scaffolding for work to commence on converting it into four flats. This work can go ahead but the building of two other semi-detached houses on the site has hit upon a stumbling block with planners. Pic: Archant

The Magpie pub is now shrouded in scaffolding for work to commence on converting it into four flats. This work can go ahead but the building of two other semi-detached houses on the site has hit upon a stumbling block with planners. Pic: Archant

Work on the site of the historic Magpie pub has hit upon a new problem.

The pub - which has stood empty in Norwich's Magpie Road for 14 years - has come up for sale twice in recent years as well as suffering a fire.

Now shrouded in scaffolding, work is finally under way to convert it into four flats.

But two other ultra-modern homes also earmarked for the rear of the site, where the old stables used to be, has hit a stumbling block.

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The Magpie pub before being shrouded in scaffolding for work to commence on converting it into flats. This work is going ahead but work to build two other semi-detached houses has hit upon a stumbling block with planners. Pic: ArchantThe Magpie pub before being shrouded in scaffolding for work to commence on converting it into flats. This work is going ahead but work to build two other semi-detached houses has hit upon a stumbling block with planners. Pic: Archant

City council planners have refused permission for the two homes because they consider them too "large and bulky" and think they would be too near to the flats and not in keeping with the surrounding Victorian brick terraces.

The two new houses originally got planning permission but a new application to make them bigger, with two bedrooms instead of one each, has been refused. The houses are designed to be semi-detached, with cedar cladding, aluminium windows, a sedum plant roof and skylights as well as balconies but no parking.

The Magpie was once one of Norwich's most popular drinking spots but was sold off by the council in 2010. It came up for sale originally for £500,000 in 2017 only to come back on the market a year later at the reduced price of £360,000 and then saw its stable damaged by a fire in 2018.

Finally it was bought by property investment firm Essex-based Blue Dog Properties.

The Magpie pub in its heyday, Magpie Road in Norwich. Pic: ArchantThe Magpie pub in its heyday, Magpie Road in Norwich. Pic: Archant

Planners outlined their objections to the two houses in a meeting held at the city council on Tuesday, stating: "The building proposed is quite large in scale given the relatively small size of the rear yard. The mono-pitched roof and vertical cedar cladding are not features which are characteristic of the prevailing form of surrounding development.

"In addition the scale of the development proposed would result in a relatively large and bulky building which would be an incongruent, cramped and unduly prominent form of development sited between the rear of the existing dwellings and former pub building.

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"The proposal would cause harm to the character of the conservation area and locally listed buildings including the former pub and adjacent terraces."

Blue Dog Properties were contacted for a comment.

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