‘I want to keep it’ Owner of historic pub that’s been up for sale for a year

Inside the spectacular holiday let that comes with the pub. Pic: Red Lion

Inside the spectacular holiday let that comes with the pub. Pic: Red Lion - Credit: Archant

The owner of an 18th century pub in Norfolk is looking into ways of redeveloping it without selling.

The Red Lion in Coltishall. Pic: TripAdvisor

The Red Lion in Coltishall. Pic: TripAdvisor - Credit: Archant

Brian Getley, who has run the Red Lion in Coltishall for six years, put it up for sale for in October 2019 for offers in excess of £750,000.

But after no buyers, he’s now looking at various ways of reinventing it.

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The Red Lion pub, in Coltishall. Pic: Red Lion

The Red Lion pub, in Coltishall. Pic: Red Lion - Credit: Archant

He’s already leased the pub to a new landlady who reopened it back in August and will be doing so again when this lockdown eases. A new bakery is being run from the pub for click and collect in lockdown too, to great success.

Meanwhile, Mr Getley has been working with CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, looking into the possibility of redeveloping the land which comes with the 1740 pub, for possible housing, while retaining the pub and keeping that open.


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With the outbreak of Covid, these plans were put on hold but he hopes to put in a planning appliction next year.

Brian Getley, right, when he sponsored local boxer Liam Goddard, pictured in February. Pic: Liam God

Brian Getley, right, when he sponsored local boxer Liam Goddard, pictured in February. Pic: Liam Goddard - Credit: Archant

When the Red Lion went up for sale, it included the freehouse pub, not committed to any suppliers or breweries, and also an apartment above, with a separate address and entrance. This is currently used as a holiday let on Airbnb and comes with a garden and garage.

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The sale also included a shop to the front of the barn, currently let to the Watering Shed gardening business as well as a beer garden and car park.

“I want to keep it,” said Mr Getley. “I’ve let it and the pub will be opening when it is allowed to, hopefully next week. We are also working with CAMRA looking at the long term future of the pub, and looking at the viability of a redeveloment site using the land it doesn’t need, for houses.

“So a planning application will be going in in the New Year because we want to keep this pub going for the future.”

He said it was likely the pub would be taken off the market as a result.

Dollies Bakery at the Red Lion has been open for takeaway, freshly made sandwiches including hot meatball subs with cheese and onions, in a brioche roll as well as pastries, coffee, home made sausage rolls and cakes.

The Red Lion dates to the mid 1800s as a pub, although the building is older. Its landlords in 1846 were Samuel and Mary Buck and it had a further 16 different landlords up until the 1970s. It closed in 2012-13 before being taken over by Mr Getley.

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