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Remote pub in heart of Broads could be set to re-open - five years after its closure

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:58 18 June 2020

The Berney Arms pub on the edge of the River Yare surrounded by Halvergate Marshes and very remote.
The Berney Arms windmill.

Picture: James Bass

The Berney Arms pub on the edge of the River Yare surrounded by Halvergate Marshes and very remote. The Berney Arms windmill. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Before its closure in 2015 it was arguably Norfolk’s most remote public house - nestled in the Broads and only accessible to customers via boat, train or five-mile trek across marshland.

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs.

Picture: James BassThe Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs. Picture: James Bass

Five years later, at a time when the pub industry is facing one of its greatest challenges, there is fresh hope that pints could once again be pulled at The Berney Arms.

Sat on the banks of the River Yare, close to Halvergate Marshes, The Berney Arms has been closed as a pub for five years - though its café still opens on occasion.

However, a fresh licensing bid has been submitted to Broadland Council to re-open part of the building as pub and bistro, which would see breakfasts, meals and drinks served again at the isolated pub.

William Hollocks, the pub’s landlord, said: “It would not be viable for the whole building to be used but there is a smaller unit on the left hand side of the pub which would be ideal to put a small pub and bistro in.

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs.

Picture: James Bass

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs. Picture: James Bass

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“We wouldn’t be having hundreds of people coming in and maybe hold a handful of events in a marquee over the summer to cover the overheads for the rest of the year It would just be the kind of place where boat hirers can come, relax and have a meal or drink.”

Mr Hollocks said that a tenant had been found to run the pub should the application be successful and that it would open “as soon as possible” if it is approved.

He added: “It would be an operation that could be run by just one person behind the bar and somebody else in the kitchen and serve breakfast or wine bar style small plates.

“Sorting out the access may be difficult but we really think it could be viable and just want to opportunity to give it a go.”

The pub dates back to the 18th century but has not been in regular use since 2015. That year, an application to convert it into a residential property was knocked back by the Broads Authority.

It was placed on the market in 2016, but despite interest, Mr Hollocks received no concrete offers.

The application will be decided by Broadland Council in due course.


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