Boutique hotel plan for city centre pub gets green light

Number 12 in Farmers Avenue, which has permission to be converted into a boutique hotel Picture: DEN

Number 12 in Farmers Avenue, which has permission to be converted into a boutique hotel Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Plans for a city pub to be converted into a boutique hotel have been given the go-ahead despite a late plea to keep it as a local from campaigners.

Earlier this year, plans were unveiled to convert Number 12 on Farmers Avenue in Norwich into a seven-bedroom hotel, after more than a century as a pub.

These plans have now received the green light from Norwich City Council, giving three years for the conversion to be carried out.

The decision comes to the disappointment of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), which made a last ditch call for the council to turn it down in favour of keeping it as a pub.

Richard Dixon, pubs protection manager for the local branch of CAMRA, had appealed to the council not to grant the permission, in the hope that it would encourage the owners to try and once again run it as a public house.

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He said: “The Number 12 has been a pub for many years from the early 19th century and has been known as the Plough and Horses, The Plough, La Rouen, Le Rouen and latterly Number 12.

“CAMRA would rather see that attempts are made to re-open the pub rather than a conversion to a hotel. The pub can provide so much more than just a traditional drinking establishment - pubs are hubs for the community where people can meet and socialise with others.”

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Mr Dixon also argued that the venue had been awarded the status of an asset of community value as a pub.

However Mr Dixon’s response was the only comment made on the application, with no objections received from other members of the public.

And Lara Emerson, the city council’s case officer for the scheme, said that “a plethora of pubs” were within walking distance of the site which would mitigate for the loss of it as a public house.

John Thurston, who is behind the plans, said that he was pleased that permission had been granted but that he did not wish to comment further on the proposals at this time.

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