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End of an era as 132-year-old Norwich pub looks likely to be turned into bed and breakfast

PUBLISHED: 06:30 03 February 2018 | UPDATED: 08:03 05 February 2018

The Quebec, Norwich.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Quebec, Norwich.; PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Norwich is on the brink of losing an historic pub which has been trading for more than 130 years, with plans to turn it into a bed and breakfast likely to get the go-ahead next week.

An archive picture of The Quebec, Norwich. The date it was taken is not known..
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYAn archive picture of The Quebec, Norwich. The date it was taken is not known.. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Quebec Tavern, in Thorpe Hamlet, has been a pub since 1886. But its days look to be numbered, with councillors recommended to approve plans to change its use to a nine bedroom bed and breakfast.

That is despite the efforts of the Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, which had battled to get the pub, on the corner of Quebec Road and Wolfe Road, listed as an asset of community value.

That gave the community the chance to buy the pub, but no groups came forward to do so. The pub was then put up for sale last year, but attracted no offers.

At Thursday’s meeting of the planning committee, officers are recommending applicant Homes Spaces 77 Ltd be given permission to change its use.

Officers say the pub’s listing as an asset of community value does carry some weight, but they say the applicant has shown efforts were made to market it.

And they say: “In this case, the applicant has successfully demonstrated that there is adequate alternative provision nearby, with a total of eight other pubs within 800m of the site.”

But Richard Dixon, pub protection officer for the Norwich and Norfolk branch of Camra, urged the council to turn down the plans.

He said: “The pub can provide so much more than just a traditional drinking establishment. Pubs can become a community hub, with senior citizen meeting places, sports teams and so much more.

“Under previous landlords, the Quebec has thrived and was a place where many people met. With the right ownership and management all of this can be achieved once again.

“At one time Norwich has a pub for every day of the year, but now it is closer to 200 due to the closure of so many within the city.

“The Quebec deserves to become a successful community pub once again and become a focal point for the local community. Once gone it is unlikely to return as a public house.”

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

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