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165-year-old pub partially knocked down, then left untouched for five months

PUBLISHED: 11:52 30 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:21 31 January 2020

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

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An 165-year-old pub that was partially demolished has been left exposed to the elements for almost six months as its future hangs in limbo.

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc BettsThe Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

In August 2019, Chippy Capital Ltd started the demolition of The Ark, in Norwich Road, Thetford.

But the work halted after a Breckland Council investigation found no planning permission had been sought by the firm beforehand.

READ MORE: 'What on Earth has happened?' - confusion as demolition starts on 165-year-old pub

The Ark had been a staple sight in the town since 1854, but following its closure in June 2019 Chippy Capital hoped to clear the space and create housing. The rear of the building, an extension built at a later date, has been flattened while the oldest section of the pub remains.

Demolition of The Ark was haulted after an investigation was launched by Breckland Council. Picture: Marc BettsDemolition of The Ark was haulted after an investigation was launched by Breckland Council. Picture: Marc Betts

READ MORE: 165-year-old pub partly demolished without permission could become homes, developer reveals

Now, Breckland Council have called on the firm to make the building weather tight and reiterated that no work can be carried out.

A spokesman said: "We have requested the owners of the former Ark Public House to ensure the building is weather tight and protected against the elements.

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"We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting upon a planning application to be submitted by the owners before any new work commences.

"Any work conducted on the building without planning consent with be a breach and we will take the necessary action to halt the works."

READ MORE: Builders ordered to stop demolition of 165-year-old pub

If no planning application is made or it is refused by the council then Chippy Capital could be forced to rebuild what it has knocked down.

The Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc BettsThe Ark Pub in Thetford is being demolished. Picture: Marc Betts

The demolition work that has been completed must be included in any plans, but this could still be rejected.

But a spokesman for the company said that an application is expected to be submitted soon.

They said: "The planning application will be submitted in the next week or two, we have been carrying out porous tests, drainage tests and other tests so everything is covered pre the application."

"The site will be developed for 100pc affordable housing which there is a huge demand for this, in not only Thetford, but the whole of Breckland."

The demolishment comes as towns cross Norfolk face losing pubs with The Dolphin and The King's Head recently making planning applications to become homes.

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