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Builders ordered to stop demolition of 165-year-old pub

PUBLISHED: 11:31 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 02 September 2019

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

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The demolition of part of a 165-year-old pub has been suspended amid concerns that it was done without planning permission.

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc BettsThe Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

The rear of the building at The Ark, in Norwich Road, Thetford, has been knocked down but the oldest part of the building remains.

However, Breckland Council has confirmed it has launched an investigation into the work carried out by Chippy Capital.

A spokesman said: "In relation to The Ark Public House demolition in Thetford, we have received no planning application to carry out the demolition and have therefore asked the owners to cease any further works, make the area safe and launched an investigation."

READ MORE: 'What on Earth has happened?' - confusion as demolition starts on 165-year-old pub

Commenting on online stories about the pub, residents in the town said they would be sad to see it torn down completely.

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc BettsThe Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

Carla Lydon said: "There was nothing wrong with it at all. All this town seems to care about is building flats."

Jennifer Brown added: "How did they manage to do so much before Breckland noticed?"

David Ward said: "The ideal situation, the ugly rear extension gone, just the original 150-year-old pub left - let's keep it as The Ark."

READ MORE: See inside Norfolk pub after extensive renovation

Pubs across Norfolk are closing with some towns being left without one.

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc BettsThe Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

Jeff Hoyle, from West Norfolk Camra, said: "I think it's a difficult time in the trade and pubs either have to show sports or serve food and find a niche that they can cater to.

"We are seeing a lot of pubs closing but there are still ones re-opening like the Green Dragon. But in some areas we have seen half the pubs close but only one or two open."

The Green Dragon, in Thetford, has been bought by the Craft Union Pub Company and recently re-opened.

The change in drinking culture has been blamed for the closing of pubs.

Earlier this year councillor Terry Jermy said: "People don't tend to go out drinking too much during the week now and if they are drinking, it tends to be at home with supermarket-purchased alcohol."

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Chippy Capital has not responded to requests for a comment.

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