Customers rally together to protect popular Norwich pub The Windmill as owners announce plans to sell the site

Felix and Lisa Snell, front, owners of the Windmill pub, where they and their customers are rallying

Felix and Lisa Snell, front, owners of the Windmill pub, where they and their customers are rallying round to protect it as the site is sold by Greene King for development. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Staff and customers of a city pub are rallying together to protect it from closure.

The Windmill pub, where the owners and customers are rallying round to protect it as the site is sol

The Windmill pub, where the owners and customers are rallying round to protect it as the site is sold by Greene King for development. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

There are fears that The Windmill, on Knox Road, could shut after its owners announced plans to sell the site.

Greene King brewery has already secured planning permission from Norwich City Council to build nine homes on its car park.

And the company has today said that the pub's 'continued operation' would be a matter for any prospective buyers.

But customers are now looking to ensure that their local stays open by getting it listed as an Asset of Community Value.


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Chas Oakley, who has been drinking there for 34 years, has collected almost 100 signatures to begin the listing process.

The 63-year-old said: 'You can walk into this pub and you will never feel threatened because everyone knows everyone. It is a community here.

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'We only needed 21 signatures to formally submit the application, but because it is such a popular pub, everyone wanted to sign it.'

The pub only reopened to the public last year following an extensive refurbishment, and was taken on by landlords Felix and Lisa Snell.

It is described as a 'community pub', which regularly hosts charity evenings, darts competitions, bingo and karaoke.

New plans for the site, which were approved by the city council last week, would see its current access from Plumstead Road closed off.

Its large car park would also be vastly reduced to just eight spaces, with nine new homes built on the remaining land.

But landlady Mrs Snell said the car park was needed to accommodate the number of people travelling for specific events.

'The move will certainly not do it any good,' she said. 'My fear is that this lovely pub will cease to be.'

Customer Rosaline Short, from Bowthorpe, described The Windmill as her 'lifeline'.

'I am widow and would not go anywhere else. I don't live in the area and come up this way to meet people,' she added.

A spokesman for Greene King, which is based in Bury St Edmunds, said: 'The pub is to be retained for pub use and its continued operation will be a matter for the prospective buyers.

'Until the site is sold by Greene King it is business as usual at The Windmill.'

Is your pub under threat? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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