Hopes of remote Broads pub revival fading as bid faces strong objection from RSPB

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

Hopes of what was once one of Norfolk’s most remote pubs being revived could be fading, after a bid for a new licence was met with several objections.

The Berney Arms, which is nestled in marshland in the hearts of the Broads, closed five years ago despite a campaign to save it.

However, landlord William Hollocks has submitted a fresh licensing application for the defunct pub, with the idea of reviving part of it as a pub, café and bistro.

With Broadland Council due to decide the application in the coming weeks though, this hope may be fading, with a number of objections from key organisations and neighbours already lodged against it.

Among those opposed to the proposals are the RSPB, the Broads Authority and those living close by.

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In an objection submitted on behalf of the RSPB, conservation officer Ian Robinson raised concerns over late night activity disturbing birds on the Berney Marshes and the waters nearby positing a risk to pub patrons.

He wrote: “The RSPB’s primary concern relates to the potential for the music and extended hours to cause disturbance to species using the Breydon Water estuary and adjacent marshes.”

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To Broads Authority too raised concerns over safety, with asset officer Angie O’Conner writing; “This area of the Broads is tidal with fast-flowing water. Safety of patrons in the vicinity of the water, particularly late at night, would be a concern, especially given the remote location of the venue.

“This remoteness would limit immediate access for emergency vehicles.”

Other concerns relate to fears that outdoor music from the venue will spill over into the early hours - however Mr Hollocks has said that this would cease at midnight.

Mr Hollocks also said he would agree to a variety of conditions proposed by the police to prevent nuisance, including no use of an outdoor area after 1am, CCTV operating around the building and written risk assessments being provided for all events expecting more than 100 attendants.

Mr Hollocks said: “We really think the pub could be viable and just want to opportunity to give it a go.”

Broadland Council will decide the application in due course.

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