New homes built at site of former Norwich pub

Families on the city council's waiting list will soon be able to move into new homes on the Heartsease estate, but a once popular pub bit the dust to make way for them.

Social housing association Saffron Housing Trust today (Thursday) celebrated the completion of 25 homes in Watling Road, with Norwich City Council able to offer the homes to people on the authority's waiting list.

While the new homes have been welcomed by councillors, a plaque on the wall of the development reminds passers-by that the Canary pub used to be on the site.

The fact the houses and flats, built by Essex-based Dove Jeffrey Homes, were to be affordable housing, convinced city councillors to reluctantly grant permission in 2010 for the pub to be demolished.

The city council had previously refused plans to knock it down, after a petition was delivered to the council with 540 names on it calling for the Enterprise Inns-owned pub to be kept.

Crome ward city councillor Alan Waters, who is also deputy leader at City Hall, was among those who had campaigned to save the pub, but yesterday he was there to mark the completion of the new homes.

He said: 'I remember the pub from its heyday and we did our best, but these are changing times and what's really good is that we have good quality affordable housing here.

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'We've got some money from it for play space and transport in Heartsease, which has already been used to improve cycle paths.'

John Whitelock, director of new business at Saffron Housing Trust said: We are delighted that the early completion of these homes will enable Norwich City Council to help more people with housing needs.'

Funding from the Homes and Communities Agency allowed the scheme to go ahead, with the homes a mixture of 20 two and three bedroom houses and five one and two bedroom flats.

The Evening News has, through our Love Your Local campaign, been urging people to use their local pubs or risk losing them forever.

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