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200-year-old 'unviable' Norfolk Broads pub could be converted into homes

PUBLISHED: 13:05 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:16 18 February 2019

Elizabeth Estates is hoping to convert the Kings Arms in South Walsham into new homes. Photo: Google

Elizabeth Estates is hoping to convert the Kings Arms in South Walsham into new homes. Photo: Google

Archant

An 18th century Broads pub which has been empty since 2016 could be converted into new homes despite councillors refusing the plans.

Elizabeth Estates is hoping to convert the Kings Arms in South Walsham into new homes. Photo: GoogleElizabeth Estates is hoping to convert the Kings Arms in South Walsham into new homes. Photo: Google

Suffolk-based company Elizabeth Estates is hoping to turn the Kings Arms in South Walsham into two properties, claiming the premises is in an “unviable” business location.

In a planning application submitted to Broadland District Council, it claims the pub’s past two tenants both became bankrupt.

Despite this, Broadland refused the application in August last year, stating the applicant had provided insufficient information to back up its viability claims.

Now, Elizabeth Estates has appealed that refusal, meaning an independent planning inspector could allow for the conversion to go ahead.

While the pub building, located on Panxworth Road, would be retained, it would be converted into two new homes. A bungalow would also be built to the rear of the site.

In an appeal document, Elizabeth Estates said: “The Kings Arms is one of those premises where the passing trade has diminished in this location, creating an unviable business location.

“This can be qualified by the failure of the last two tenants, who sadly each became bankrupt.”

The company said the success of the near by Ship Inn had a “large effect” on the Kings Arms when it was trading as a pub and a restaurant.

It said no “suitable” tenants had been found to take on the premises despite being on the market with two specialist agents.

The appeal document said: “Since becoming vacant the property has also suffered from break-ins and criminal damage, along with no tenants coming forward leads the applicants to seek redevelopment of the site in their ownership.”

A date has not been set for the appeal to be heard at a planning inquiry.

Refusing the application last year, Broadland council said the building’s conversion would result in the loss of a local service to South Walsham.

It also said no evidence had been provided to show the building had been marketed.

According to the Norfolk Pubs website, the Kings Arms first received its licence on September 9, 1789.



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