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'It's a last resort' - owners admit plan to turn historic hotel into flats after no buyer found

PUBLISHED: 12:03 02 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:16 02 January 2020

Howard and Helen Fradley, who have run the Castle Hotel in Downham Market for 29 years. Picture: Chris Bishop

Howard and Helen Fradley, who have run the Castle Hotel in Downham Market for 29 years. Picture: Chris Bishop

Archant

A Grade II listed Norfolk hotel could be at risk of being turned into apartments if a buyer does not come forward.

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

The Castle Hotel in Downham Market is a prominent building sat on High Street in the heart of the west Norfolk town.

The 17th century grade II listed building has been on the market since March 2016 and has not gained much interest in that time.

Owners Howard and Helen Fradley say it would be heartbreaking if their business of 29 years is turned into apartments.

The couple, who set up the business in 1991 after moving from Hull, have been looking to retire for a few years.

Mr and Mrs Fradley have come up with plans to develop the building into apartments if the hotel does not sell.

A listed building application to convert the hotel into six apartments was submitted to the Borough council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk.

Helen Fradley, 58, said: "We've been trying to sell it for the last four years and want to retire but we haven't been able to. "We have had three different agents and have reduced the price a number of times. It's just not selling.

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"We needed a plan B really and that was to convert it into apartments.

"We came up with the plan in October last year, it's a last resort really.

"We're still desperate to sell it as a hotel. It's still on the market and we have a viewing set up. But we needed a backup plan."

MORE: Couple want to sell popular hotel in Norfolk town so they can retire.

The application also includes the conversion of a brewhouse into a one-bedroom house and plans for another one-bedroom home with associated amenity and parking spaces.

Mrs Fradley said: "We're really sad, it's been our baby for the last 29 years and our children have grown up here.

"It's been our life.

"We would love a buyer to come along and we would love for it to stay as a hotel.

"It's heartbreaking for us to be honest after building it up for so many years.

"The hotel is prominent in the town and we would still like it to go as a hotel."

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