Planners oppose bid to shut Holt pub
A bid to shut a north Norfolk village pub and turn it into a house has met opposition from planning officers.Owners of the Hare and Hounds at Baconsthorpe near Holt say they struggling to make it viable, hindered by lack of support from some locals, and the high number of holiday homes in the area.
A bid to shut a north Norfolk village pub and turn it into a house has met opposition from planning officers.
Owners of the Hare and Hounds at Baconsthorpe near Holt say they struggling to make it viable, hindered by lack of support from some locals, and the high number of holiday homes in the area.
Anyone wanting to shut and convert a village pub needs to show they have tried to sell the business as a going concern - but officials said that may have failed because the asking price was too high.
The pub was making “considerable losses,” say publicans Val and Terry Purkiss in a report to North Norfolk District Council's west area development control committee this Thursday - adding “the loss of the pub is solely down to the local community.
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“If they have supported us in keeping their local pub open this would never have go to this stage,” say the couple who reckon closure is the only way to stop going bankrupt because they are covering losses from their savings.
They do however also blame the combined effect of the smoking ban, cheap supermarket booze and large number of local holiday homes.
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The closure and conversion threat has drawn opposition from parish councillors and one local resident who pointed out that previous owners had run a “thriving and well-supported business” and felt the current pub was “shabby and unwelcoming” with erratic opening hours.
Planning officers highlight a letter from pub sales specialists commenting that the £550,000 asking price was “somewhat optimistic.”
They are recommending refusal of the plans due to lack of a “proper marketing exercise” adding “there is nothing the council can do to force the applicants to run a failing business” but without the marketing it would be wrong to allow a plan which would result in permanent closure of the pub.