Landlady fears for future of pub after planners refuse development

The Lodge at North Tuddenham. Picture: Ian Burt

The Lodge at North Tuddenham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The future of a village pub could be put at risk by a planning office decision to refuse a new development which will increase much-needed community facilities, according to its landlady and owner.

Plans for five starter homes, a village shop and new car parking area at The Lodge in North Tuddenham, near Dereham, were refused by Breckland Council's planning office on grounds that the site is outside any defined settlement boundary and the proposal would 'introduce new development in an unsustainable location'.

North Tuddenham Parish Council said it felt the design was not in keeping with the rural setting and had concerns about the impact of the proposal on the potential future development of land outside the central areas of existing housing within the village.

But supporters of the scheme are calling for it to be resubmitted and a petition signed by more than 140 people has been sent to the parish council and Breckland Council.

Landlady Vikki King said: 'The owners are continuing to invest in the pub at no cost to us as the tenant.

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'The application is really about the pub being granted a lease for a car park and garden which doubles its existing leased area, without which the future of the pub could be put at risk.

'The village gains a shop which will adjoin the pub. These will all help the viability and future of The Lodge, the only pub in the village.

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'The village needs starter homes and the developer needs to build the terrace of five to fund the works and investment in the pub.'

At a parish meeting held after the plans were refused local people gave overwhelming support and asked that the developer resubmit the application.

CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) also backed the development saying the district council should protect community facilities.

Developer Rob Walton of Norfolk Holdings Ltd, which owns the pub and site around it, said the scheme gave the pub more certainty.

'It should help to secure the pub's future, a village shop which will be the only one in the village, and five much needed starter homes,' he said.

'This will give five families the opportunity to live in North Tuddenham.'

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