Are you going to tonight’s meeting to try and save a village pub?

The Erpingham Arms. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Erpingham Arms. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A public meeting is being held tonight to try and save the Erpingham Arms pub in north Norfolk.

The Erpingham Arms in days gone by. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Erpingham Arms in days gone by. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The pub, near Aylsham, has served the community for more than 250 years, but has been closed since last October.

Campaigners have set up a Facebook group to save it and have arranged a community meeting to galvanise support in the village.

The meeting is from 6-8pm at Erpingham with Calthorpe village hall in The Street.

The Eagle Road pub's owners have applied for a change of use, to enable it to be used for residential development.

Pub of the Week - Erpingham Arms. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Pub of the Week - Erpingham Arms. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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But under North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) rules, as it's the only pub in the village, they must try to sell it for 12 months, and at a realistic price, before a change of use is considered.

Campaigner Sue Lawrence said: 'The village has started to get together to see what we can do to stop this happening.

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'The villagers do not want to lose this community asset and would really like it to stay as a pub and possibly incorporate a shop.'

The group said on Facebook: 'If we don't start to show our love and intentions to keep our pub it could be closed for good. We need to make sure this doesn't happen.

'We are planning on gaining as much support to try our best to get our fantastic historic public house to open its doors again.

'We need as much support as possible to show that we want and need our public house in our community.'

NNDC ward councillor Norman Smith said 'The pub is well worth saving and is an asset to the village. But there are only 400 dwellings in the area and they might have to raise about £500,000 to save it.'

The owners said in a statement last October: 'After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to close the Erpingham Arms from October 10 until further notice. After a poor summer of business, sadly it is not possible for us to keep the pub up and running.'

The pub started life as the Eagle Inn in 1760 and was later named The Spread Eagle.

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