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New homes bid for former pub site

PUBLISHED: 17:03 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:03 06 February 2020

The former Ferry Boat in King Street, Norwich. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

The former Ferry Boat in King Street, Norwich. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Archant

The fate of a former pub will become clearer next week - when a fresh decision will be made on whether more than 40 flats can be built on the site.

The plans are almost identical to these ones agreed four years ago. Pic: 5th Studio Architects.The plans are almost identical to these ones agreed four years ago. Pic: 5th Studio Architects.

And, if members of Norwich City Council's planning committee agree to the proposals for the Ferry Boat Inn site, then a mystery buyer is waiting to snap up the land.

The pub, in King Street, used to be one of the city's main rock music venues, but it has been empty since 2006.

In 2016, the city council gave the green light, by 11 votes to one, to grant permission for redevelopment of the Grade II-listed property and its surroundings.

The plans would have seen 41 flats created at the site, in the existing building and in new buildings, including a five-storey tower at the back of the former pub.

Flashback: The Ferry Boat public house when it was still open in 2002. Pic: Archant Library.Flashback: The Ferry Boat public house when it was still open in 2002. Pic: Archant Library.

The site was put on the market for nearly £1.4m, but estate agency Savills had been unable to find a buyer. In the meantime the planning permission which was granted expired last October.

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However, Savills said last year that a buyer had been found, but the site sale hinged on fresh planning permission being secured.

A similar scheme to the one which was approved previously was lodged with City Hall and, on Thursday, councillors will consider that application.

Council officers are recommending that permission be granted.

Officers say: "The site is located in one of the most historic parts of Norwich and development directly affects a building which functioned as a public house for almost 200 years.

"It is considered that the scheme is of an appropriate design for the location; delivers housing in a highly sustainable location and secures the regeneration and use of an important heritage asset and a site which has now been vacant for a substantial number of years."

Historic England had initially expressed concerns, particularly around the impact on a medieval arch on the site, but, after further talks with the applicant Ferry Boats Developments, say they are "broadly content".

The Environment Agency had objected initially due to flooding concerns, but removed that after getting further detail on mitigation measures.


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