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Fears raised for future of Golden Triangle pub

PUBLISHED: 11:07 01 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:28 02 December 2018

Inside the Garden House in Pembroke Road, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Inside the Garden House in Pembroke Road, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

Campaigners have criticised plans to push ahead with a proposal to convert part of a popular Golden Triangle pub into a flat.

Paul Neale has criticised plans to convert part of a Norwich pub into a flat. Picture: Green Party.Paul Neale has criticised plans to convert part of a Norwich pub into a flat. Picture: Green Party.

Enterprise Inns (EI Group) wants to convert the upper floor of the Garden House pub on Pembroke Road, Norwich which currently contains a function room and a kitchen, into a three-bedroom manager’s flat with a study and office.

The national pub chain plans to turn it into a ‘managed house’ pub with a smaller trade area and no food, under the management of the Craft Union Pub Company, part of EI Group.

Following a public consultation, the group has now withdrawn its planning application, having sought a legal opinion that says returning the first floor to staff accommodation would not amount to a material change of use, therefore, it would not require planning permission.

Twenty seven objections were submitted to the planning application and one comment in support during the consultation.

Green Party campaigners in Nelson ward, which covers part of the Golden Triangle, are disappointed, and representative Paul Neale said: “Rather than listen to the community, EI Group has got round objections to its plans for making major changes to this popular neighbourhood pub by consulting its lawyers.

“Removal of the pub function room and kitchen will mean the pub becoming just a drinking establishment and no longer a welcoming place for families. “If EI’s plans for a drinks-only pub don’t prove financially viable in a residential area, we fear the company will seek to convert the ground floor to residential accommodation as well and develop the large pub garden for housing.”

The pub closed last month after EI told landlord Oscar Gerdes it would be not be renewing his lease.

A spokesman for Craft Union Pub Company has said: “We believe the British pub plays a vital role in the lives of its customers and our philosophy at Craft Union is to put brilliant pubs back at the heart of communities.

“We are committed to nurturing this by investing in the pub by ensuring that we retain the tradition and the heritage alongside maintaining the quality of the community offer.”

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