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‘It’s becoming a ghost town’ - residents concerned over closure of town pubs

PUBLISHED: 15:44 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:44 10 June 2019

The Dolphin, in Thetford, has closed.  Picture: Sonya Duncan

The Dolphin, in Thetford, has closed. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Concerns have been raised that too many pubs are closing in Thetford leaving it “like a ghost town.”

Co-owner of The Dolphin pub in Thetford, Sean Licence, with the Cask Marque award before its closure.Co-owner of The Dolphin pub in Thetford, Sean Licence, with the Cask Marque award before its closure.

The Ark, The King's Head and The Dolphin in the town centre have shut in the past year, leaving residents asking what can be done to save those that remain.

Steve Lenane, of Fisher Way, said: "What is happening to the pubs in Thetford?

"Thetford is becoming like a ghost town with nowhere for people to socialise. With thousands more houses being built you would think that we would be getting more pubs, not less.

"It is down to the people of Thetford to use their pubs or risk losing them forever. Breckland Council also needs to do more to protect our pubs by making it more difficult for a change of use application to be successful."

The Albion pub in Castle Street, Thetford, is one of the town's remaing pubs. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Albion pub in Castle Street, Thetford, is one of the town's remaing pubs. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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But Terry Jermy - a town, district and county councillor - said that it is a reflection of the changes in society and was reassured that the pubs that remain offer a range of social events.

He said: "Certainly there's far fewer pubs in Thetford now then there were a few years ago but I think that reflects changes in society.

"People don't tend to go out drinking too much during the week now and if they are drinking, it tends to be at home with supermarket purchased alcohol. We still have a number of very good pubs that remain, some that offer a good variety of events, some that provide food as well, and they rely on residents to support them to keep going."

The situation has led to Mr Lenane asking Breckland Council to consider adopting a policy that could protect further pubs from closure.

He added: "Cambridge City Council has a very robust policy that makes it very hard for a pub to be changed into something else, hence Cambridge has a thriving night time economy.

"All the currently closed pubs in Thetford could potentially thrive. There is no such thing as a bad pub, only bad landlords or owners."

What are your thoughts on pubs in Thetford? Email marc.betts@archant.co.uk


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