Two historic pubs could become flats
- Credit: Archant
Two former pubs which date back to the 19th century could be turned into housing.
The Kings Head, which closed in 2017, and the Dolphin, which closed in July this year, were first registered as pubs around 1800 after being used as stables.
Thetford used to have 31 pubs but closures over the years mean only four are still serving. On average 18 pubs are calling last orders every week, figures from CAMRA show.
Now, permission has been sought to develop The Kings Head, in White Hart Street, into seven one-bedroom flats and one two-bed.
The plans also show the erection of a three-bedroom house at the back of the pub, where there is currently a collapsed barn.
Since the pub closed it has been empty and the application, prepared by E Riley Associates Charted Surveyors, says the development would restore "a statutory listed building that is currently vacant and introduce residential use to the ground and upper floors".
But Thetford Town Council and residents have objected to the plans.
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The council says the barn should not be removed and that creating a new home would not reflect the design and character of the listed buildings.
Issues have also been raised with the lack of parking, access and restricted view of the road when leaving the property. In planning documents, Steven Lenane, from Fisher Way, 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."
The Dolphin Inn, in Old Market Street, closed after it was deemed to no longer be financially viable.
An application lodged by Locus Planning on behalf of Gold Leaf Property Investments Ltd hopes to create six homes with a mix of one and two-bed properties.
Existing out-buildings and the pub would be converted to form the six homes, which the application said will be achieved with "little changes to the historic fabric".
Before it was submitted advice was sought, with Historic England raising concerns about how close the development was to Castle Hill.