A village pub near Downham Market needs an extension and improved access to help it remain viable, its owners say in a planning application.

The Hare Arms in Stow Bardolph. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Hare Arms in Stow Bardolph. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Greene King Pub Partners has applied to demolish a conservatory beside the Hare Arms at Stow Bardolph, off the A10, replacing it with a new trading area with improved disabled access.

In a planning statement, the brewery says the works will have 'no impact on the historic significance' of 18th-century pub, which stands in the middle of the village.

It adds: 'It will remain as it always has been, a public house.

'The proposals will only add to this significance and ensure the future viability of the business. The proposals attempt to improve the environment in and around the building and allow the business to develop and provide enhanced facilities for visitors and locals alike.'

It says up to seven pubs a day are currently closing because of competition, increasing costs and tax on beer. It adds: 'The company have been custodians of properties that, under other circumstances or in the ownership of other operators, would no longer be public houses; many would have been converted to residential or commercial properties.'

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Councillors will discuss the application next month.

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