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Owners of remote former pub to learn fate of bistro plan

PUBLISHED: 11:11 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 21 July 2020

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs.

Picture: James Bass

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

Owners of what was once one of Norfolk’s most remote pubs will learn on Wednesday if their bid to revive it as a bistro can go ahead.

The part of the Berney Arms pub which will be used as a new bistro if plans are approved. Picture: William HollocksThe part of the Berney Arms pub which will be used as a new bistro if plans are approved. Picture: William Hollocks

Olive Court Properties Ltd, which owns the Berney Arms pub, has applied to Broadland Council for permission to licence part of the former venue as a bistro, which would also be permitted to serve alcohol and hold events such as boating regattas.

However, an aspect of the application requesting permission to remain open until the early hours and - on occasion - provide live music has proved contentious and seen a number of objections submitted.

On Wednesday July 22, members of Broadland’s licensing committee will decide whether to grant the application, with director William Hollocks hoping that agreeing to a variety of conditions suggested by the police will help sway the councillors in their favour.

These include agreeing to put CCTV in place, cease all live music at midnight and pulling back the proposed closing time from 3am to 1am.

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Netty Southgate, who will be running the bistro if the application is approved, said: “It seems people think we will be holding raves and playing loud music every day from 6am until 4am. That’s not going to happen.

“It is a licensed bistro we are wanting to run, not a disco nightclub. The location of the Berney is unique and that will be taken into account to attract the right people.

“Yes, there will be events, but those organised around what the boating and walking community want, not rave music blaring out at all hours.”

Mr Hollocks added: “Pubs are closing all over the country in very populated areas, so to try and make this business work will be very difficult and should be supported.”

However, the proposals have been met with opposite from a number of organisations, including the RSPB which owns the marshland around it and the Broads Authority.

In a written objection, RSPB conservation officer Ian Robinson said: “The tenants do not have legal consent to access the property using the concrete road/graven track from the A47 via the Britannia Farm entrance and Breydon pump. As such we are unsure how they are expecting patrons to access the site, which is jointly-owned by the RSPB and two other landowners.”


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