Grade II-listed pub could be turned into six flats

Pub of the week, The Dolphin, in ThetfordPhoto: Sonya Duncan

Plans have been lodged with Breckland Council for the conversion and extension of the Dolphin Inn pub and its outbuildings, in Thetford, to form six dwellings.   - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A Grade II-listed pub could be turned into six flats, after the business was considered “unviable”.  

Plans have been lodged with Breckland Council for the conversion and extension of the Dolphin Inn pub and its outbuildings, in Thetford, to form six dwellings.  

The property, located on Old Market Street, is one of Thetford’s oldest pubs, dating back to 1694, and falls within the Thetford conservation area.  

But planning documents state that in November 2017 the business ceased trading as it was “no longer considered to be financially viable”.  

It was then bought by the planning applicant, Gold Leaf Property Investments, in September 2018 and is currently vacant. 


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If it is approved, the building will be turned into two one-bedroom units and four two-bedrooms units, with associated parking. 

The documents say: “The pub is understood to have closed and subsequently been sold due to the operation being unviable.  

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“The issue of viability is considered to be further evidenced by the prior history of the site, whereby the pub was also closed in 2012 due to lack of trade.  

“Those factors contributing to the issue of viability include, as identified, the number of alternative competing providers within the Thetford and the pubs position within the town, located in a residential area outside of the town centre and away from the main pedestrian ‘thoroughfare’ whereby potential footfall is relatively low.  

“For these reasons, the future operation of the pub is considered to be unviable.” 

Within the plans it states that the conversation into residential dwellings could have economic benefits within the town.  

It also concludes that the development “does not pose any harm to the designated heritage assets” and is supported by a thorough heritage impact assessment.

It continues: “In the short term, the construction phase associated with the development will stimulate the local economy through the employment of construction workers/professionals. 

“Secondly, future occupiers of the development will utilise local services and facilities, including those within Thetford, supporting the local economy. 

“The proposal is evidently located as to enable future occupiers' access to services and facilities within Thetford, contributing to their viable use and thus the vitality of the rural community.” 

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