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Plans to partially demolish pub Norfolk village wanted to keep open

PUBLISHED: 16:04 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:29 05 November 2018

The boarded up former Kings Head Inn stands at the centre of Pulham St Mary. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The boarded up former Kings Head Inn stands at the centre of Pulham St Mary. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2015

A boarded up pub that Norfolk villagers have fought to reopen could be partially demolished under new plans submitted by its owner.

Villagers in Pulham St Mary flocked to a public meeting in 2015 to discuss the future of the redundant Kings Head Inn. Picture: Sonya DuncanVillagers in Pulham St Mary flocked to a public meeting in 2015 to discuss the future of the redundant Kings Head Inn. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The future of the Kings Head Inn, which stands at the centre of Pulham St Mary, has proved to be a long running saga since it closed in 2007.

The inn was placed on the market in 2010 with a £225,000 price tag, but failed to attract a buyer and its owner Graham Scott argued the only way to afford the restoration and refurbishment needed to the Grade II listed 16th century building was to build new housing.

In 2015 Mr Scott lost a planning bid to South Norfolk Council which asked if the building could be torn down to make way for 18 homes on the site.

Owner Graham Scott pictured in 2009 inside the old King's Head Inn in Pulham St Mary. Picture: Denise BradleyOwner Graham Scott pictured in 2009 inside the old King's Head Inn in Pulham St Mary. Picture: Denise Bradley

A campaign by villagers subsequently saw Pulham St Mary Parish Council try to buy the building, partially funded by a grant from the government’s Pub Loan Fund, so it could be turned into a community run asset in the heart of the village near Diss.

A petition was also set up by residents asking for the district council to compulsorily purchase the building.

Now a new application has been lodged that would see the partial demolition of the building as well as internal and external alterations.

District councillor Clayton Hudson addressing a public meeting in 2015 about the future of the redundant Kings Head Inn. Picture: Sonya DuncanDistrict councillor Clayton Hudson addressing a public meeting in 2015 about the future of the redundant Kings Head Inn. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The application argues the demolition would return to pub to its original footprint dating to around 1500 whilst internal improvements would preserve the historic building.

It states: “The main pub building, after being returned to the original two buildings, built at approximately the same time, will look very similar to the existing, from the front.”

It adds: “After completion of these works the building will be stable and should be removed from the Buildings at Risk Register. The main designated heritage asset would now have been saved for this and future generations.”

South Norfolk councillor Clayton Hudson said: “This application is limited to them wanting to do some work to the listed building. It’s a question of whether that is going to preserve or enhance the building in the centre of the village which is a bit of an eyesore.

“From my perspective I’d love to see the centre of the village improved and the King’s Head looking nicer. All we can do is examine the proposals that are put forward.”

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