Petition launched to stop The Crown Inn in Weybread from being demolished
A couple worried about the future of their village after its pub is set to be demolished have started a petition to designate it as a community asset.
Sally Mittuch and her husband, Scott Vincent, have said they believe if they lose The Crown Inn, in Weybread, near Harleston, the village could start to lose its sense of identity.
The pub, which has been empty for about a year, was bought by poultry producer Crown Chicken, which has been given permission to demolish it.
Ms Mittuch, who lives on the same road as the pub, has started a petition to stop it being removed and has so far gained more than 50 signatures. She said: 'If there is nothing in the village then we will just become a hamlet. We want it as a centre for community activities. The village needs something to put itself on the map because there is so much around here.'
Both residents and the parish council claim they found out the pub was due to be demolished when they saw a notification on the building.
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Graham Gibbs, chairman of Weybread Parish Council, said the firm applied for a prior notification to demolish the pub which meant the community was not consulted.
He said: 'We assumed it would be used for offices like other buildings before. We are very sad that another part of Weybread will go. There is great concern over the pub being lost but there is an understanding that Crown Chicken is an important business in the area.'
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Those who live in the village, and Mr Gibbs himself, fear other old properties on The Street, which have been bought by Crown Chicken, may also be demolished.
They are also concerned about the increase of HGVs.
Carl Thacker, general manager at Crown Chicken, said the company would not like to comment on the residents' concerns but they will be holding a public meeting to explain what is happening.