Local beer enthusiasts have expressed their optimism over the future of a 250-year-old pub. 

The Norwich branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) remains hopeful the former Number 12 in Farmers Avenue can once again become a hotspot for drinkers - despite its uncertain future. 

Plans have been re-submitted to convert the former boozer into a seven-bedroom boutique hotel.

But the space is also going up for auction next month with a guide price of between £250,000 and £300,000 - casting uncertainty over its future use. 

Eastern Daily Press: The former Number 12 in Farmers AvenueThe former Number 12 in Farmers Avenue (Image: Newsquest)

Camra, which objected to the initial plans for a hotel in 2020, has now said it is hopeful any transformation would include a space for real ale drinkers. 

"We would rather it be used as a facility for the public, rather than it being turned into accommodation," said Jenny Bach, Norwich Camra press and publicity officer. 

"A hotel still has the potential to sell real ale behind a bar.

"So these plans don't make us feel like we've lost our fight to keep it as a community space. 

"Rather, it feels like it's taken its natural course."

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Thurston Estates received planning permission in March 2020 to convert Number 12 into a seven-bedroom hotel. 

Eastern Daily Press: Jenny Bach, Norwich Camra press and publicity officerJenny Bach, Norwich Camra press and publicity officer (Image: Newsquest)

However, work was delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the three-year time limit to start the project subsequently expired.

Camra initially launched an appeal to the city council in 2020, arguing it "would rather see that attempts are made to reopen the pub rather than a conversion to a hotel".

"The pub can provide so much more than just a traditional drinking establishment," it added.

"Pubs are a hub for the community where people can meet and socialise with others."

History of Number 12

Dating back to the 17th century, the pub was known as the Plough and Horses up until 1830 and then the Plough Inn until 1973.

It was among the city buildings damaged during the Baedeker Raids of 1942 and was taken over by the US Army as the headquarters of the Military Police for the remainder of the Second World War.

Eastern Daily Press: Norwich pub La Rouen, pictured in 1991Norwich pub La Rouen, pictured in 1991 (Image: Newsquest)

It was reopened in October 1946 by Morgans Brewery and became La Rouen in 1973 - which was later corrected to Le Rouen at some point in the 1990s.

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The pub closed again in 1995 due to safety concerns during building work for Castle Mall and reopened in 1999.

Eastern Daily Press: Le Rouen in Farmers Avenue, Norwich, in 2001Le Rouen in Farmers Avenue, Norwich, in 2001 (Image: Newsquest)

It became Number 12 in July 2008 but closed in 2018 despite a recent refurbishment and was bought by Thurston Estates from Enterprise Inns the following year.

The pub is said to have various fine architectural features including a cast iron stove, an original fireplace and a wooden Arts and Crafts style servery.