Remote Broads pub could finally be turned into houses

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 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

One of the most remote pubs in Norfolk could be set to be converted into a quartet of townhouses in the latest twist of a long-running saga.

The Berney Arms, which sits in a remote location on the banks of the River Yare near Halvergate Marsh, has not regularly been in use as a pub since 2015.

Since its closure, it was placed on the market in 2016 but did not attract any concrete interest.

Now, five years later, plans are being drawn up to convert to building into four townhouses, in a project aiming to turn it into "the gateway to the Southern Broads".

Olive Court Properties is preparing a planning application, to be submitted to the Broads Authority, which would see the main pub building converted into housing. 


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However, it would not see the site completely devoid of a hospitality offering, with a licensed café and bistro ready to operate out of a smaller building on site. 

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

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 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

David Tarry, project leader for the development, said: "A building of that size is just not viable as a pub any more - nobody wants to run a remote pub as a hobby, it needs to be financially viable.

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"The idea is we can put four nice townhouses in the building and still operate the bistro within the site."

Mr Tarry said that the coronavirus pandemic had slowed down the bistro plans, which originally had a licence denied before an alternative agreement was reached. 

He added: "What we want to do is spruce up the area and turn it back into what it ought to be - the gateway to the Southern Broads.

"It will be a responsible development and a far better alternative than allowing the whole site to grow more and more derelict. 

"People will still be able to stop, have a drink and there will still be moorings."

When the pub originally closed, in 2015, a community campaign was launched to try and save it the following year.

And a similar planning bid to convert it into housing around the time was refused by the Broads Authority.

Once the latest bid is submitted, the BA will consider it in due course.


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