‘It’s a great shame’: Town’s historic pub to be converted in flats
PUBLISHED: 13:17 12 April 2020 | UPDATED: 07:22 13 April 2020
Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016
Plans to turn a town centre’s historic pub into flats are set to go ahead.
The Kings Head pub, in Thetford, will soon be turned into flats after plans lodged with Breckland Council back in 2018 have been approved.
The Grade II-listed public house, which dates back to the early 18th century, was last in operation back in September 2017 and has since been left empty.
Now the building will be converted into three one-bedroom flats at first floor level and three one-bedroom flats within the loft space of the property.
The plans, lodged by the developer Ruben Osie, will also convert the outhouse building, fronting Thomas Paine Avenue, into a three-bedroom house.
But in Breckland’s online planning portal, the decision notice and report states that “the ground floor is intended to remain in its existing current commercial use format”, giving hope the Kings Head could reopen as a pub in the future.
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This comes after previous objections were made from within the community, including concerns about over-development, anti-social behaviour and access.
In planning documents, one resident who previously objected said: “Thetford is due to expand over the next few years and will need more places for people to socialise. This should take priority over a few more flats in the town centre.
“I would like to see the site restored so that the pub can once again be viable and be an addition to the town as a whole.”
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But Thetford town and Breckland district councillor Roy Brame said despite feeling regretful due to the pub’s long history, he was fully behind more development in the town centre.
Mr Brame said: “If it had been any other building, other than a pub, I would have been fully supportive of it because it’s what we have to do to our town centres.
“Generally, it is a brilliant idea to turn disused places into flats. The only problem I have personally is that pub has a history which goes back hundreds of years. But the problem is nobody can make them work at the moment.
“It was a business model which worked 100 years ago but doesn’t work today, which is a great shame.”
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