Pub owner’s closure fears amid caravan planning row

The Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant

The Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

A pub owner has been left fearing for the future of his business after a dispute with the Broads Authority scuppered his plans.

Static caravans outside of the car park of the Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant

Static caravans outside of the car park of the Beauchamp Arms pub. Picture: David Hannant - Credit: Archant

Ray Hollocks, who owns the Beauchamp Arms on the banks of the River Yare, had hoped to bring new life to the pub by offering accommodation to fishermen through static caravans.

With statics having previously been kept on site, he believed he would be able to install them without the need for planning permission and had them delivered in May.

At a meeting of the Broads Authority's planning committee, though, members voted to give officers the authority to take enforcement action against him, requiring them to be removed.

However, a technicality means the action can not be taken immediately, as the vans were moved to new locations on his land fewer than 28 days ago, meaning they were not in breach of planning policy.

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Mr Hollocks, 65, who has owned the pub for 20 years, had intended to use the vans to diversify the pub's business and use it as holiday accommodation.

He said: 'I really do not know what to do now - our entire business plan going forward relied on being able to offer accommodation through the statics and our letting rooms.

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'However, if you find yourself fighting the very people who should be supporting you, you start to lose the will to keep on fighting.'

He said that unless some kind of agreement can be reached with the authority, the pub will likely close within the next year.

At the meeting, committee member Lana Hempsall requested an exception be made to regulations to allow Mr Hollocks to speak, but this was refused.

Ms Hempsall added she could not support the authority's recommendations and motioned to defer any decision until a planning breach had been committed. However, this was not seconded.

She said: 'I feel I am being asked to endorse enforcement action when there is not a breach.'

Bill Dickson, vice-chairman, asked whether the planning team was looking to make 'a pre-emptive strike'.

Cally Smith, the authority's head of development management: 'The vans do not have permission to be there and will unlikely receive it.'

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