Decision within days over bid to revamp closed Norwich pub
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A pub which closed its doors almost three years ago looks set for a remarkable return, if councillors agree to revamp plans next week.
When The Marlpit Arms pub closed its doors in 2015, there were fears the Hellesdon Road pub may never re-open again.
But the community campaigned to get the Grade II building listed as a community asset to stop it from being lost as a pub - and the site was bought by Cécile Bidet, who has a background in interior design and restoration work.
Her plans to breathe new life into the pub will be discussed by members of Norwich City Council's planning committee on Thursday next week.
And officers are recommending that the proposals are given the go-ahead, with planning officer Robert Webb stating in the report: 'The development would result in significant benefits in terms of the restoration and enhancement of the listed buildings, and the reopening of the pub as a community facility and business which is likely to have a more viable and sustainable future.
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'Further benefits would arise from the delivery of additional housing and from the contribution the scheme would make to the local economy.'
The proposals include alterations and extensions to the re-opened pub, with a restaurant and five guest bed and breakfast bedrooms.
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The application also includes five new homes in a newly-built barn-style building. Ms Bidet would look to sell those properties with the money raised contributing towards the cost of the pub site's revamp.
Previous proposals for a pavilion extension to the pub and for a small glamping site have been withdrawn after officers advised there were located within a flood zone.
The city council has had 20 comments in support of the proposal, with supporters welcoming the potential return of a pub which is 'sorely missed' by the local community.
There have been four objections, including about the new houses.
But officers say the design of the homes is of high quality and it is 'considered highly unlikely that an alternative operator would invest significant funds whilst re-using all of the land around the pub for open space purposes.'
The Norwich Evening News has, through our Love Your Local campaign, urged people to use their pubs, or risk losing them.