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Revealed: Two nearby Norwich pubs could become homes as bids lodged

PUBLISHED: 11:33 27 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 28 April 2019

The Dyers Arms, Lawson Road, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

The Dyers Arms, Lawson Road, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Two city pubs within a five-minute walk of one another are facing the prospect of being turned into almost a dozen homes.

The Prince of Denmark pub. Picture: Antony KellyThe Prince of Denmark pub. Picture: Antony Kelly

Planning bids have been submitted to convert the Prince of Denmark on Sprowston Road and the Dyers Arms on Lawson Road into a mixture of flats and houses.

While the Prince of Denmark has been closed since August 2018, the Dyers Arms is still an active pub, so news of the application has come as a shock to local campaigners.

Richard Dixon, pub protection officer for the Campaign for Real (Camra) in Norwich and Norfolk, said: “The Dyers Arms has always been a reasonably popular pub - it may not be a real ale pub but that is not the point. It is therefore a bit of a surprise to hear of the application.

“We never want to see any pubs close but the same thing happened to the Elm Tavern which was directly opposite. That is now flats.”

MORE: Do you still have a local? Almost a quarter of our pubs have closed since turn of the millennium



Mr Dixon said while he had seen the Prince of Denmark application coming, he was eager for one of its most recognisable features to be preserved if it couldn't have a future as a pub.

He said: “One aspect of the Prince of Denmark is the big mural on the side of the building which is something particularly unique - I'm sure nobody would want to see that lost.”

The mural is currently included in plans submitted with the application.

Mr Dixon added that the large number of other pubs in the area could have contributed to the downturn in business experienced by both venues.

He added: “Nobody wants to see any pubs close but when you look at the level of competition in the area, it could be a factor.

“It takes a certain type of person running a pub to make it stand out from the rest and offer something different and while I would love to see them all stay open this isn't always possible.

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“That said, I would love to see somebody out there come and make a go of either of them.”

He added that the local Camra branch would be closely monitoring both applications and submitting responses to the city council over them.

MORE: Then and now - do you remember these former Norwich pubs?



The owners of the Dyers Arms have been approached for comment.

In the plans, the Prince of Denmark would be converted into five houses, with two more houses built on the west side of its car park.

In the planning papers, it says “a gradual decline in trade along with multiple police call out incidents meant that [the pub] was no longer viable”.

And the Dyers Arms would become four houses, its application says.

In those papers, it says: “The owners of the public house have shown a significant downturn in trade and profits over the las 18 months.

“While income has remained similar, costs have shown a significant increase showing a marked downturn in profitability.”

Both applications are awaiting decisions.

In November last year, figures showed that Norfolk and Waveney had lost 23pc of its pubs since 2001, down from 860 to 660.

In Norwich, that figure was 24pc, down from 145 to 110, with smallest pubs - those with up to nine employees - being hit the hardest.

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