'Village would be worse without it' - Owner on plans for 17th century pub

Brian Getley, right, when he sponsored local boxer Liam Goddard, pictured in February. Pic: Liam God

Brian Getley, right, when he sponsored local boxer Liam Goddard, pictured in February. Pic: Liam Goddard - Credit: Archant

A village pub owner has said he could not have its closure on his conscience after lodging plans to redevelop the site it is on.

Brian Getley is the owner of the Red Lion pub in Coltishall, having lived next door to it for the best part of 30 years.

The pub was placed on the market for a year, but Mr Getley has now decided to keep it and lease it out - but not without changes being made first.

The Red Lion pub, in Coltishall. Pic: Red Lion

The Red Lion pub, in Coltishall. Pic: Red Lion - Credit: Archant

If a planning application submitted to Broadland Council is approved, it will see the pub's days of serving food come to an end.

It would have a smaller footprint, and take on a new life as a "traditional ale-drinker's pub".

The proposals will see part of the building demolished, removing a single-storey extension and restoring the pub to its former area.

It will also see a small beer garden established to the side, leaving the existing garden and car park open for residential development - which would see two new homes built.

He said: "I want it to always remain a pub. It's been one since the 17th century and I want it to stay that way, even though I won't be running it myself. 

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"However, everything points to it not being viable as an eatery - there are not enough covers for it to be worthwhile."

Mr Getley has worked alongside the Campaign for Real Ale to develop a plan to breathe new life into it and protect its future as a pub.

He said: "The village would be worse off without it as a pub and I wouldn't be able to have losing it on my conscience.

"For me, I want it to be the kind of place people are missing now the most - somewhere they can meet for a good ale and talk about the things people go to the pub to talk about.

"The pub is not listed so, in theory, I could have demolished the whole thing and put up eight or nine houses, but I just did not want to do that."

Broadland Council will consider the application in due course.

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