Renewed bid to build holiday lets on beer garden facing fresh objections

The Butchers Arms in East Ruston. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Butchers Arms in East Ruston. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

A renewed bid to build holiday lets on a village pub's beer garden has got the thumbs up from planners - despite fresh objections from locals.

The plan would see seven holiday lodges erected next to the Butcher's Arms in East Ruston.

An earlier proposal to build nine units was refused by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in January last year over concerns of noise for neighbours.

The new plans, which will be discussed by NNDC's development committee on Thursday (February 17), show a number of amendments including the removal of external decking and jacuzzis.

The application also states the units are intended to provide a source of revenue for the refurbishment of the pub.

But the bid is still facing a number of objections, from residents and East Ruston Parish Council, raising concerns over "excessive noise" and loss of privacy.

One person questioned why the money for the scheme has not gone straight into the pub for refurbishment since it was purchased in 2018 by the applicant, Oulton Broad Properties.

A report to the committee states that objectors' previous concerns regarding overdevelopment of the site have "largely been eased through the reduction in the number of units".

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A noise assessment carried out at the site concluded there would be "no significant adverse impact" from the development.

Another proposal is to limit the use of the external areas to not past 10pm, the report states.

"Although concerns raised in regards to amenity are recognised, noise mitigation measures are proposed, along with strict conditions controlling the use of the site and controlling external lighting," the report says.

It adds that the development would provide economic benefits by securing the longevity of the pub through revenue from the holiday lets.

Lowestoft businessmen Mark Oakes and Sam Cole of Oulton Broad Properties bought the Butchers Arms in late 2018 after it was forced to close due to rising overheads and shrinking takings.

Julie Oatham, owner of The Butchers Arms in East Ruston, with the puddings she has prepared for thei

Julie Oatham, owner of The Butchers Arms in East Ruston, with the puddings she has prepared for their Sunday roast dinner delivery and collection service. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

In 2019 the venue bounced back, with longtime landlady Julie Oatham keen to transform it into a more community-based pub.

Although it closed again in March 2020, and has not opened since, Ms Oatham continues to prepare takeaway meals.