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Fresh battle for future of Norwich pub bowling green as City Hall homes decision appealed

PUBLISHED: 13:02 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:02 01 May 2018

Campaigner Tony Moore (second right) with, Sewell city councillors at the bowling green. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Campaigner Tony Moore (second right) with, Sewell city councillors at the bowling green. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Archant

Families who fought plans to build homes on the former bowling green of a Norwich pub are facing a fresh battle, after an appeal was launched over the city council’s decision to turn down the scheme.

Flashback to when the bowling green was in use. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFlashback to when the bowling green was in use. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Applicants Hines, Moore and Piggin had sought permission to redevelop land at the back of the Heath House pub in Gertrude Road, Norwich.

The application for four homes had been recommended for approval by Norwich City Council officers.

The applicant had agreed to contribute £15,000 to the council to compensate for the green’s loss, with the money due to be used to upgrade the pitch and putt course at Mousehold Heath.

But, last September, members of City Hall’s planning committee went against the advice from officers and voted seven to four to turn down the scheme, on the grounds of the loss of open space.

The Heath House pub in Gertrude Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Heath House pub in Gertrude Road. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

In documents lodged with the inspectorate, the applicant’s agents Lanpro state that: “It is considered that the application represents a sustainable development in a location which can support new housing.

“The development will be redeveloping privately-owned area which has not been used as a bowling green for over two years.

“The applicant is proposing a contribution which is considered sufficient to compensate for the loss of the bowling green which will also go towards improving an existing facility which is publicly accessible and therefore will benefit a greater number of people.”

But Tony Moore, who has opposed the original application, has written to the inspectorate urging them not to allow the appeal.

He said: “We are not opposed to development per se, but we believe that this particular development is wrong in so many ways and would submit that it be rejected by the inspectorate.”

He is part of a group called Keep It Green, which has applied to the city council for the green to be declared as an asset of community value.

If an asset is listed, then if the owner wants to sell it, they have to tell the council and the community then has a period of time to bid to buy it.

The Heath House made headlines in 2015 when the bowling team, who used the green for free, were told they would have to leave - because they were not spending enough in the pub.


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