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City council to decide if riverside pub should be turned into houses

PUBLISHED: 18:35 05 September 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 bid to convert a former pub in Lakenham into housing is due to be decided next week.

The Cock pub on Long John Hill closed three years ago, with the riverside site sitting dormant ever since.

Last year, an application was made to demolish part of the 17th century building, converting the pub and its car park into eight homes, but was later withdrawn.

However, a fresh bid lodged this year is due to go before Norwich City Council’s planning committee next week, with officers recommending the scheme for approval.

If approved, the revision will also see part of the original building demolished and two homes built on the former car park.

The completed project would see three homes in total replace the pub site.

The application has divided opinions in the community, with both the Campaign for Real Ale and the Yare Valley Society voicing objections.

In June 2017, CAMRA successfully nominated the site as an asset of community value, however, with the pub still out of use the scheme has been recommended for approval.

City council planning officer Maria Hammond, in a report going before the committee, said: “Although the loss of the pub as a community facility is regrettable, it is considered to be justified in this instance.

“Securing a long term, viable use for the current vacant locally listed building and conversion of it in a way which would enhance its significance is considered a substantial benefit of the proposal.”

An objection submitted by CAMRA’s Norwich and Norfolk branch, though, argues for its retention as a pub.

The submission says: “This pub has been neglected by previous owners who have left a perfectly viable pub to become derelict.

“In the right hands and due to the position of this pub, it could become a very well place for the community.”

The Yare Valley Society also argued that keeping the site as a pub would offer a “significant local and tourist asset”.

Norwich City Council’s planning committee is due to discuss the application at a meeting on Thursday, September 13.

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