‘Threat to human life’ pub up for rent for £50,000 per year

The Griffin pub in Thorpe St Andrew is being let as a pub. Picture: Ruth Lawes

The Griffin pub in Thorpe St Andrew is being let as a pub. Picture: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant

A 231-year-old pub in a Norfolk town is up for rent - after it was spared demolition.

The Griffin, on Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew, which has stood derelict for nearly three years, is now up for let as a pub at £50,000 per year.

It comes after the pub’s owner Marlinspike, a London based asset management company, was denied permission to knock down the pub earlier this year.

The plans, which had been met with fierce criticism, were rejected as Broadland District Council deemed the pub an asset of community value and a non-designated heritage asset.

The decision to rent the pub out is due to the council’s planning policy for community buildings, which states they must be marketed adequately for an agreed price for at least a year.

Gary Leigh, one of the directors at Marlinspike, said: “We put in an application to demolish it but the council insisted we market it as a pub for a predetermined period before they would consider an application.

“This is a bit strange as the building is falling down and I genuinely think it is a threat to human life, particularly to those who break in and steal the internal fabric, despite how much security we put in.

“Marketing specifically as a pub is a mad situation as there is absolutely no pub market at the moment. There has been absolutely no interest in the building from anybody.”

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When asked the preferred outcome - the pub rented out or submitting another planning application for its demolishment - Mr Leigh said he had no comment.

He also said he had no comment on the alternative use for the site in the event the pub could be knocked down.

Last year, Mr Leigh said he was hoping to submit a planning application for a “health care-related use”.

Ian Stamp, chair of the Norwich and District branch of CAMRA, said the only positive outcome would be to “sell it as a pub”.

Over the past decade, various landlords have tried to make a success of The Griffin, with one even turning it into a Tapas-themed restaurant.

According to Norfolk Pubs website, the premises was recorded as the Griffon in 1789.

Its name was then changed to the Griffin & Pleasure Gardens in 1888.

Almost 100 years later it became the Gunga Din’s Old Colonial House, before being named The Griffin in 2000.