Hopes rise of keeping a village pub

A village's hopes of getting its pub back has been given a boost. Developers have been told they must provide a new watering hole before converting the old one.

A village's hopes of getting its pub back have been given a boost. Developers have been told they must provide a new watering hole before converting the old one.

The Red Lion at Upper Sheringham closed in 2006 following environmental health problems - and a promised replacement in the form of a converted barn 200 yards away has yet to materialise.

Last year, the pub's owner, John Ashton's Children's Settlement, was given permission to convert the old building on The Street into homes on the condition that the work would not begin until a tenant was found for the new pub at Ushers Barn, and the properties would not be let until work on the barn had been "substantially completed".

Now North Norfolk District Council's planning committee has decided the trustees must agree to honour those conditions if they want planning permission signed off - despite claims the recession had made it too difficult to find a tenant.


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Following the meeting, Josh Horne, chairman of Upper Sheringham Parish Council, welcomed the decision. He said the pub was part of the village's heritage and the permanent loss would not only harm the locals.

"We do get visitors across that use the National Trust's Sheringham Park," he said. "We are losing what is our heritage. With a pub, villagers would have a meeting place and the tourism in the area would be another plus."

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Asking councillors at last week's meeting to grant planning permission without the conditions, a spokesman from the trustees' agent Woodrows told them his clients were still committed to providing a pub.

But he said they were unlikely to find someone to run it for at least two years while they waited for the effects of the recession to ease. He said: "A good tenant is very hard to come by with the current financial climate."

Councillor Benji Cabbell-Manners was part of the original committee which granted the conditional permission in January 2008. Speaking at the meeting, he said: "I only did so on the understanding that there would be an alternative pub. That was the deal."

The committee voted against the request by eight votes to one.

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