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Landlord demands council buys his closed pub over planning saga

PUBLISHED: 11:59 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:25 04 October 2019

The boarded up former Kings Head, which has been closed since 2007, stands at the centre of Pulham St Mary. Picture: Sonya Duncan

The boarded up former Kings Head, which has been closed since 2007, stands at the centre of Pulham St Mary. Picture: Sonya Duncan

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The owner of a boarded up village pub who claims a planning stalemate has left him facing "virtual financial ruin" has served an official notice calling on the council the buy the historic building.

Owner Graham Scott pictured in 2009 inside the Kings Head in Pulham St Mary. Picture: Denise BradleyOwner Graham Scott pictured in 2009 inside the Kings Head in Pulham St Mary. Picture: Denise Bradley

Graham Scott, the owner of King's Head Inn in Pulham St Mary, which closed in 2007, has served a purchase order on South Norfolk Council.

The future of the Grade II listed 16th century building has proved to be a long running saga and has been the subject of a campaign by villagers to reopen it as a pub.

In 2015 Mr Scott saw plans for the building to be torn down to make way for 18 new homes refused. His most recent plans to partially demolish the building were also rejected last year.

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

MORE: Plans to partially demolish pub Norfolk village wanted to keep open

In April the planning inspectorate upheld a council refusal of a previous purchase notice stating that it could not be demonstrated that a new owner could not make a success of the pub.

In comments submitted with his latest purchase order, Mr Scott claims he has over 20 years of documented evidence to "illustrate that the planning system has been used by third parties to freeze my former family pub business and home."

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He adds: "These orchestrated and vindictive attacks have been life changing for me and have resulted in virtual financial ruin. This purchase notice offers the opportunity to resolve over two decades of injustice levelled at me."

South Norfolk Council said the current purchase order had been correctly submitted and would be considered by the council.

MORE: Meeting over King's Head in Pulham St Mary planned as vision to demolish it for flats is submitted

Clayton Hudson, district councillor and chairman of Pulham St Mary Parish Council, called on Mr Scott to offer a "realistic price" for the parish council to buy the building and bring it back into use as a community pub.

He said: "The parish council has on multiple occasions, and again recently, made an offer to purchase the property for a price in line with the district valuers' valuation.

"My plea to Mr Scott is if he wishes to sell the King's Head we sit down and agree a realistic price in order to allow the community to bring it back into use.

"I would personally love to lead a community interest company. However for this to work Mr Scott needs to agree to sell. The ball is in Mr Scott's court, I am ready when he is to sit down and make it happen."

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