Fresh bid may finally seal fate of vacant pub

The empty Griffin Pub on the Yarmouth Road at Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The empty Griffin Pub on the Yarmouth Road at Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The fate of a pub on the edge of Norwich could finally be sealed after a new bid to demolish it was officially lodged.

The Griffin pub, on Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew, has been vacant since 2017, having been put up for sale by Ei Publican Partnerships in 2017.

Pints have not been pulled there since, but earlier this year a bid to knock it down from London-based asset management company Marlinspike was turned down.

In July, it was placed up for rent as a pub opportunity for £50,000 per year - but now the 231-year-old pub is once again facing demolition after a tenant could not be found.

The empty Griffin Pub on the Yarmouth Road at Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The empty Griffin Pub on the Yarmouth Road at Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Gary Leigh, one of the directors of Marlinspike, said: "If the plans are approved it will be an extra-care facility with 98 homes for rent to elderly people on restricted incomes - something there is a real need for."

After unveiling details of the proposals last month, a planning application has now been submitted to Broadland Council, which will be considered in due course.


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The proposals have been met with disappointment from the Norwich branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), though pubs protection manager Richard Dixon admitted hopes for the site as a pub were slim.

He said: "While of course we never want to see a pub knocked down and will be submitted our comments on the application, in the current climate it really difficult to see somebody make a go of it.

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"With everything that is happening at the moment, our biggest concern is trying to help protect those that are still in business. 

"As much as we would do not want to see it knocked down, keeping the ones we have open has to take much more priority than ones like the Griffin that have been closed for three years."

Turning down the original application in February, Broadland officers argued there was insufficient evidence that the pub could not be profitable in future. 

At the time, the pub also benefitted from being a designated asset of community value - however earlier this year this status was revoked.


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