Row over remote pub’s future will see several moorings removed

PUBLISHED: 16:18 25 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:13 26 July 2020

Boat moorings at the Berney Arms pub, which are to be removed. Picture: Olive Court Properties Ltd

Boat moorings at the Berney Arms pub, which are to be removed. Picture: Olive Court Properties Ltd

Olive Court Properties Ltd

A row over the future of a remote pub in the Norfolk Broads is set to see several moorings closed off to boat-users.

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

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

The Berney Arms pub, near Reedham, has been closed for five years, however, a bid to re-open part of it as a licensed bistro has just been refused by Broadland District Council.

Among the objectors to the proposal was the Broads Authority, which raised a range of concerns - including noise, the safety of boat-users making use of the bistro late at night and the ability of emergency vehicles to access the site.

While it was ultimately the decision of Broadland councillors to refuse the application, the team behind the pub has criticised the Broads Authority’s objection in particular, given that prior to its closure in 2015 the site had been licensed for many decades.

David Tarry, who represented the pub at the licensing hearing and runs Loddon Marina has since said moorings on the site would not be removed in response to the application’s refusal.

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He said: “We gave everything we could to try and make it happen, but if the committee felt it could not be run for health and safety reasons then there’s not a great deal we can do. It now feels there is no real future for it - that’s the long and short of it.

“We were working on finding a way to make it viable for several months, but doesn’t feel like we were given a fair chance.”

The day after the decision, Mr Tarry wrote to Broads Authority chairman John Packman informing him he would be closing the moorings by the site.

A BA spokesman said: “Individuals or businesses are free to open or close privately-owned stretches of moorings as they see fit and the moorings at the Berney Arms pub are no exception to this. The Broads Authority has two stretches of free 24-hour moorings open in close proximity to the pub that can be accessed by boaters at Berney Arms Reach and Berney Mill.

“The Broads Authority is not the licensing authority in this instance. However, if approached for comment we will support licensing applications that have shown consideration for the local area.

“The Authority objected to the initial license application on grounds relating to noise disturbance - the application requested a license to serve alcohol and play music until the very early hours of the morning. The Authority therefore regarded the nature of the application to be inappropriate considering the location of the premises.

“We fully appreciate the importance of the hospitality industry to the Broads, both for local residents and visitors to the area. When approached for comment on licensing applications we review each case on an individual basis and will support those that we deem to be acceptable and well-considered.‘

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