Housing plan for city pub withdrawn

Felix and Lisa Snell, who have taken on the Windmill on Knox Road.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Felix and Lisa Snell, who have taken on the Windmill on Knox Road.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Plans to convert a disused pub on the edge of Norwich into housing have been withdrawn, little over a month after being submitted.

At the beginning of February, a planning application was lodged with the city council to convert The Windmill pub on Knox Road into a housing development.

It came months after a window for community groups to snap it up and take it on closed, with its status as an asset of community value lapsing last year.

However, less than two months after the new application was submitted, it has been withdrawn, prompting fresh hope that pints may one day be poured again at the site.

Ahead of the withdrawal, one objection to the plans was lodged, from the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.

The objection called for greater effort to be made to preserve the site's status as a pub, rather than becoming the latest casualty of an area which was rapidly losing its locals.

Richard Dixon, pubs protection officer for the Norwich and District branch of CAMRA, said: "I'm pleased the application has been withdrawn and would love to see it re-opened.

"It does seem fairly unlikely that it will be, but that part of the city already has fewer pubs that it once did and a similar thing is happening at the William IV on Quebec Street, so it would be a real shame to lose both."

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The pub was originally listed as an asset of community value in November 2017, which gave it protection against alternative development.

However, this status lapsed in November 2020, triggering a six-week period in which community groups could come forward and take it over, before it could be available for development.

But this period ended without any firm interest showing, opening the possibility up of it being converted into housing.

The plans called for the building to be converted into a two-bedroom house, but it now remains to be seen whether another application will be submitted or whether it has a future as a pub after all

Efforts were made to contact the applicants.