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Fresh attempt lodged to turn Norwich pub into new homes

PUBLISHED: 10:34 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:57 26 April 2018

The Cock Pub, in Long John Hill, Lakenham. Photo: Emma Knights

The Cock Pub, in Long John Hill, Lakenham. Photo: Emma Knights

Emma Knights

A fresh bid has been lodged to turn a Norwich pub, which closed its doors more than three years ago, into houses.

John Elbro, from the Yare Valley Society.  Picture: Denise BradleyJohn Elbro, from the Yare Valley Society. Picture: Denise Bradley

Pints were last pulled at The Cock in Lakenham in 2015 and developers, who say the riverside site is no longer viable as pub, want to turn it into homes.

Last year, an application was lodged with Norwich City Council to demolish part of the pub and convert it into a home, with eight three-bedroom homes built on what was the pub’s car park.

That application was withdrawn, but a fresh submission has been lodged with City Hall. It would see part of the pub , which dates back to the 17th century, demolished and converted into a three bedroom home, with two four-bed homes built next door.

The Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, got the building listed as an “asset of community value” in May last year and had objected to the previous application.

Flashback: An undated photograph from the Archant files of the Lakenham Cock pub.Flashback: An undated photograph from the Archant files of the Lakenham Cock pub.

So had The Yare Valley Society and that organisation is also objecting to the revised bid.

Chairman John Elbro says the proposal goes against the council’s policy over development in the valley, would reduce the “visual amenity” for people enjoying the valley, is in a flood zone and would be a loss of a local and tourist asset.

He said: “A public house so well positioned for clientele, and on such a potentially attractive site, should provide adequate opportunities for a successful business.”

But documents lodged with City Hall by applicant Building Plans Ltd state the Long John Hill property was bought following “an extensive marketing exercise” to sell it as a pub, but there was no interest in taking it on as a going concern.

While they acknowledge the proposal is against council policy to not permit residential development within the Yare Valley, they say: “The conversion of the pub to residential along with the delivery of two new dwellings would provide public benefits which outweigh any potential harm and on balance the proposal is considered an acceptable form of development in planning terms.”

A decision will be made by the city council in due course.

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

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