Garboldisham pub plans rejected

Campaigners fighting to revive a closed south Norfolk pub said they are 'thrilled' plans to turn the historic building into housing have been rejected.

On Monday, Breckland Council's development control committee turned down an application submitted by Wellesley Capital Investment to covert The Fox Inn, in Garboldisham, near Diss, into three dwellings, demolish its existing rear extensions and construct two semi-detached homes in its grounds. It closed in February 2007 and remains boarded-up due to thefts and a fire.

The proposals attracted more than 100 letters of objection – many from residents claiming its development would rob the village of the chance to re-open the key amenity.

In Decemeber, villagers had launched a campaign to buy the 18th century pub. A committee has since been putting together a business plan in the hope of acquiring the building from owner the Wellington Pub Company but its offers have been turned down.

Committee member Janet Hance said campaigners were 'on a high' following the committee's decision but awaited the company's next move.

'Obviously we're very thrilled and it is a victory as far as it goes but they might put in another application so it's a question of waiting for what's going to happen next,' she said.

'We've had great support from the district council and residents as well. We're delighted they supported us on the fact it would the loss of an amenity to the village.'

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Wellesley Investment Capital had submitted two planning applications – one for permission convert the pub into housing and a second for consent to develop a listed building.

A spokesman for Breckland Council said the homes were turned down as councillors believed they would take away a 'key service' to the village and no provision of affordable housing was included.

Listed building consent was also rejected as the development was judged to be harmful to the setting of the building and the character and appearance of the area.