Could this 230-year-old pub be brought back into use?

A bid to turn the King's Arms in South Walsham into houses has been dismissed by a planning inspecto

A bid to turn the King's Arms in South Walsham into houses has been dismissed by a planning inspector: Picture: Google - Credit: Google

A building which for more than 200 years served as a village pub has been spared a future as housing.

Pints were first pulled in The King's Arms on Paxworth Road in South Walsham back in 1789, however it is now several years since it was last a pub.

It had been subject to a housing bid from Elizabeth Estates, with the Suffolk-based company hoping to convert it into two homes and build a third on the car park.

Broadland Council refused the scheme, but the decision was taken out of the council's hands after the company appealed the decision.

However, this appeal has now been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate, sparking new hope that it could once again be used as a pub.

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Richard Dixon, pub protection officer for the Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) welcomed the inspector's decision and said he hoped somebody could now be persuaded to come forward and run it as a pub.

He said: "With there being another pub in the village - the Ship Inn - often inspectors accept the loss of provision, so we are pleasantly surprised with this decision made.

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"The King's Arms hasn't been a pub for quite some time, but it would be nice if somebody did come forward to make a go of it."

The building is currently being advertised for let by chartered surveyors Fleurets, with a lease of £28,000 per year being asked.

Mr Dixon added: "The pub has a rich history, it was part of the Lacon's family in the past, so it would be great to see it in use again."

Dismissing the appeal, planning inspector Catherine Beeby said the applicants had been unable to demonstrate that the building was not viable as a pub - a requirement for an application looking to replace a community facility.

The building has not been an active pub since 2011 and has been empty since 2016, but in the interim was used as a take-away.

Since planning permission had not been granted for the change of use, however, the inspector assessed the appeal as if its last lawful use was a pub.

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