City pub poised to make way for housing development

The William IV pub, Quebec Road, Norwich, which is bidding to extend its opening hours. Picture: Ant

The William IV pub, Quebec Road, Norwich, which is bidding to extend its opening hours. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

A city pub looks set to close down after a planning application was lodged to convert it into homes.

Like the majority of the city's pubs, the William IV on Quebec Road has re-opened to customers following the second national lockdown.

However, this stay of execution may prove short-lived, with freeholder of the pub, Peachtree Services Limited, lodging a bid with Norwich City Council to extend the building and convert it into nine apartments.

Nicholas Groves, of Peachtree, said: "The pub world has been really rather difficult for operators, particularly over the last eight or nine months or so and as a consequence we have to look at alternatives.

"Generally speaking, lots of pubs have been struggling this year and this is not a decision we have come to without speaking to our tenants, with who we have a very strong relationship."

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Mr Groves said that should Norwich City Council give the development the green light it would provide "much-needed" housing - but that it was too soon to provide any timescale on the pub's future, which he said would be down to the tenants.

He added: "We are not in the business of closing pubs and putting in planning applications for them without speaking to the people running them first.

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"We have been very supportive of them over the years but in the current environment it is very, very difficult for pubs from a financial perspective.

"It is what it is and in general Norwich is not short of pubs as it is - although I appreciate it is a very emotive thing."

The pub dates back to the 19th century and has been owned by Peachtree since 2005, with the existing tenants taking it over in May 2010.

According to papers submitted with the application, trading conditions have proved increasingly difficult for the pub over the recent years - an issue exacerbated by the pandemic.

Since its submission last month, the application has received three comments from members of the public - one in its favour and two in opposition.

Norwich City Council will consider the application in due course.

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