Bid to turn part of former hotel into apartments

Ann and William Brennan's hotel, Gissing Hall.
Photo: Denise Bradley
Copy: Celia Wigg
For: EDP
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Gissing Hall. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Part of a former hotel and wedding venue could be turned into apartments if plans are approved.

The bid, lodged with South Norfolk Council, would see Gissing Hall, on Upper Street in the village, near Diss, partially turned into four apartments.

Part of the hall would be kept as a family home for the owner, and it would be the front, or southern, part of the building which would be converted, planning papers say.

A four-bay garage would be created, as well as a swimming pool under an existing marquee structure.

Planning papers say, with the building being Grade II listed, there would be no external changes.

They say: "The hall was originally built as a rectory with later additions. It was held by one family for several generations.

"It fell into disrepair and was sold to a local farmer who retained the land and sold off the hall with five acres."

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It says it was later turned into a hotel, but after 20 years of running it in that capacity the previous owners decided to sell.

A spokesperson for the agents said the current owner wanted to bring the building up to a good standard and keep it out of disrepair.

They said a previous planning permission to separate the site meant, where there had formerly been a separate entrance and exit for cars, there was now only one, narrow access route.

They said it made reopening the building as a hotel unfeasible, and that renting out the apartments was a more viable future.

Gissing Hall once starred in Channel 4 show Country House Rescue, which sees a business guru into stately homes to advise owners on ways to diversify.

It was previously owned by William and Ann Brennan, who used it as a family home before turning it into a wedding venue and hotel.

It has not been run as a hotel for the better part of a decade.

The building has been the subject of several planning applications, including a bid in 2011 to turn it back into a single residence.

The Gissing estate dates back to the 15th century, and was first owned by the Kemp family.

The hall was mainly built in the 1820s by the Reverend Sir William Robert Kemp.

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