Bid to turn closed Norwich pub into homes splits opinion

The Cock pub, in Long John Hill, Lakenham. Photo: Emma Knights

The Cock pub, in Long John Hill, Lakenham. Photo: Emma Knights - Credit: Emma Knights

A revived bid to turn a Norwich pub, which has been shut for more than three years, into homes has divided opinion.

Pints were last pulled at The Cock in Lakenham in 2015 and developers, who say the riverside site is no longer viable as pub, want to turn it into homes.

Last year, an application was lodged with Norwich City Council to demolish part of the pub and convert it into a home, with eight three-bedroom homes built on what was the pub's car park.

That application was withdrawn, but a fresh submission was lodged with City Hall earlier this year.

It would see part of the pub , which dates back to the 17th century, demolished and converted into a three bedroom home, with two four-bed homes built next door.

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Civic watchdog The Norwich Society had opposed the previous application, but are in support of the revised scheme, which they describe as 'much improved'.

But the Norwich and Norfolk Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, which also objected last time, are still against the plans.

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Richard Dixon, pubs protection officer, said in the right hands, the pub could become very well used by the community.

He said: 'With access to the river frontage, this place is perfect for families who wish to sit by the river.

'There is no other pub like this within the area and it would be a loss to the local community if this was to become residential housing.'

Documents lodged with City Hall by applicant Building Plans Ltd state the Long John Hill property was bought following 'an extensive marketing exercise' to sell it as a pub, but there was no interest in taking it on as a going concern.

While they acknowledge the proposal is against council policy to not permit residential development within the Yare Valley, they say: 'The conversion of the pub to residential along with the delivery of two new dwellings would provide public benefits which outweigh any potential harm and on balance the proposal is considered an acceptable form of development in planning terms.'

A decision will be made by the city council in due course.

The Norwich Evening News has, through our Love Your Local campaign, been urging people to make use of their pubs or risk losing them.

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