'Eyesore' village pub hit by fire
PUBLISHED: 10:48 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:08 06 December 2019
A derelict village pub described as an eyesore but with planning permission to be converted into a house has been damaged in a fire.
The First and Last, a former pub on Yarmouth Road in Ormesby St Margaret, caught fire on Thursday (December 5) just before 9pm.
Four crews from Great Yarmouth, Martham, Gorleston and Acle, as well as the aerial ladder platform, attended the scene.
Nobody was injured in the blaze but the cause of the fire is not yet known.
The pub, which stands at the entrance to the village, has been empty and derelict for many years and its dilapidated state has drawn concerns from residents.
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In 2015 two bids to demolish the building and replace it with housing were rejected by planners.
But two years ago, Great Yarmouth Borough Council gave permission for a new development on the site which would see the former pub converted into a house, as well as the building of three cottage-style dwellings.
Developers are proposing to demolish the pub's extension but retain the original two-storey building.
Adrian Peck, chairman of Ormesby St Margaret Parish Council, said: "We're very disappointed the First and Last caught fire but hopeful it won't be too bad and it can be rebuilt and the three houses can be built.
"We have always been very keen to retain the pub itself as a building because it's a lovely looking building, it's at the entrance to the village, and it's been an eyesore for a long time and we'd like to see it rebuilt as a house and somebody living in it."
Four years ago the parish council had hoped turning the pub into a community asset would fend off advances from developers and rekindle interest from pub operators but the effort was unsuccessful.