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150-year-old Norfolk pub could be turned into homes

PUBLISHED: 14:19 19 May 2019 | UPDATED: 07:55 20 May 2019

The Woolpack pub in King's Lynn, which could be turned into homes  Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Woolpack pub in King's Lynn, which could be turned into homes Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

A pub next to a college could close and be turned into a house - because students no longer drink like they used to.

The Woolpack has stood on the Gaywood Road in King's Lynn for more than 150 years.

Now its owners Peter Napthen and Wendy Newland say they want to convert it into homes before they retire.

They have applied for planning permission to turn it into a house of multiple occupation.

The Woolpack stands on the junction with Tennyson Avenue, next to the College of West Anglia's main campus.

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In a planning statement, its owners say: "In the past the Woolpack had been a place for college students to eat and drink at lunchtimes. However recent government studies have demonstrated that younger people are beginning to indulge less in alcohol than previous generations.

"The Woolpack Public House has been a long-standing attribute to the local area. The current proprietors have invested into the business, however it is not been a profitable venture and they are now reaching a time of retirement. The proprietors run the public house themselves and would envisage their retirement within three years."

The planning statement says the Woolpack does not have off-street parking.

It adds: "The proposals to convert the property to a house of multiple occupancy would look to alleviate some of the high-volume parking in the area. The would-be occupants of the proposed HMO would have many local amenities close by within walking distance, including serval bus service routes. HMOs are by their definition a low-cost housing solution, therefore it is highly unlikely that any occupants would own a car and there would be no need to provide off-street parking."

So far, the application has attracted six comments. A member of staff at the pub, Amie Nicol, said: "I fully support this application because the landlords are looking to secure their future."

But Mark Garnett posted: "This is a great loss to the local area and I fear will lead to further parking and congestion for current residents in both Tennyson Avenue and Gaywood Road."

And another respondent added: "We need to be keeping our public houses as they are. We are currently losing far too many for houses."

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