Plans to convert historic hotel into flats will be discussed by councillors

The Castle Hotel, in Downham market. Picture: Chris Bishop

The Castle Hotel, in Downham Market. - Credit: Archant

Downham Market Town Council will give its view on a planning application to convert a historic hotel into flats and a house of multiple occupation.

A listed building consent and planning application has been submitted to West Norfolk Council to turn the Castle Hotel in Downham Market into seven self-contained flats, a five bedroom small house in multiple occupancy (HMO) and associated amenity and parking area.

A listed building application to convert the hotel into apartments, to change a brewhouse into a one-bedroom property and to create another one bedroom property had previously been granted.

A statement from NKF Planning Consultancy Ltd on behalf of the applicant said the vision for the scheme is to "create a sustainable new living environment" to promote an active lifestyle and sense of wellbeing, while conserving the character and appearance of the grade II listed building.

It added: "The scheme will deliver a range of residential accommodation from one bedroomed flats to one bedroomed dwellings, which will be of a high quality and design consistent with the character and appearance of the building and the Downham Market conservation area."

It said the proposal would require "minimal internal and external changes" and would deliver heritage benefits and secure the future of the listed building.

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Howard and Helen Fradley put the 12-bedroom establishment on the town's High Street up for sale in January 2016 after wanting to retire.

Howard and Helen Fradley, who have run the Castle Hotel in Downham Market for 28 years. Picture: Chr

Howard and Helen Fradley who had run the Castle Hotel in Downham Market. - Credit: Archant

The couple placed the building on the market and were forced to drop the asking price after years of not receiving any offers.

And an online auction took place earlier this year to sell the property.

Downham Market Town Council has previously objected to plans to convert the hotel into flats on the grounds of the loss of hotel accommodation in the town.

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The council will now discuss its response to the new application at a full council meeting on Tuesday, July 13.

The socially distanced meeting will take place at the Jubilee Community Centre, and will also be live streamed to people in the centre's car park and on Youtube.

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