Yet another former Norwich pub looks likely to join the ever lengthening list of locals which have made way for housing.

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The Branford Arms served its first drinks in 1895, but shut its doors in January 2009 and councillors are this week set to make a decision which means it is unlikely to ever be a pub again.

Old Catton-based Adar Developments have submitted plans to Norwich City Council to turn the pub, in Branford Road in the north of the city, into four flats, with a further three in the garden.

Officers at City Hall are recommending approval when the city council’s planning committee meets on Thursday, but the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has urged councillors to reject it.

Mike Spivey, pub preservation officer for the Norwich and Norfolk branch of CAMRA, wrote to the council warning that the city’s “cultural heritage and social amenities are being lost”.

He said: “This is a large, roomy pub which has been popular in its past. It has a good upstairs function room, once used regularly as a meeting place for local groups and societies.

“Under the right management and with sympathetic owners, there is no reason why this should not be a viable business as a pub again.”

But, in the report which will come before councillors, council officers state: “The pub is located in a densely built up residential area north of the city centre, which is generally well served with local pubs within easy walking distance.

“Whilst the loss of a pub licensed since 1895 is regrettable, given availability of other venues, the proposal could not be resisted on the basis of being contrary to the historic pubs policy.”

Officers add the conversion plan means “much of the architectural character of the original building” would be maintained.

The Evening News has ben urging customers to either “use or lose” pubs through our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/ loveyourlocal

• Have you got a story about a pub opening or closing in the Norwich area? Call Norwich Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

8 comments

  • At least it won't be another Tesco, as there is one within 3 minutes walking distance!

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    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • pubmandave, banning under 18's? If they don't cause problems and look and act older, I can't see the problem...I myself was a regular at my local at the age of 16. The landlord at that time said from day one..".**** on my doorstep and you won't get served ". I agree that the wrong type of bod is now rearing its head in the pub game, and that the economic times and different social media's are more attractive than propping up many of today's pubs and bars.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 16, 2013

  • Harry, its nothing to do with rent and rates. In 2002 I was paying £1040 per week rent, and £725 per month rates - I paid my barmaids £10 per hour and enjoyed owning a couple of racehorses and a new car every year, however the pub took £800 on a dead night like a monday, but the 3k friday night,4k saturday night and £1500 sunday lunchtime made it all worthwile. I now work for a pubco, the biggest one. They do not charge unworkable rents, but sadly the standard of licencee is rock bottom. Without naming the pub in Norwich we recently advertised for a new tenant. The pub had a great site, a good car park, well looked after gardens and fitted out so only a fool couldnt make money. Along comes Mr Know-all and his girlfriend, out went the old furnishings, out went the beer pumps and in came a sound system playing a vile drumbeat..... and out went the customers. Its a simple job running a pub, serve good beer at a resonable price, look on youre exterior as youre shop window and always employ chatty friendly barmaids (NEVER GUYS) and you will make a good living

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • As much as I dont like our building heritage turned into flats (or even worse a T supermarket!), maybe as this pub has not found someone to take it on as a viable business and has not served a drink in over 4 years, it has proven its life as a viable pub is indeed over. Of course it would be great if CAMRA had a chain of its own pubs and ran them with CAMRA enthusiasts as managers and staff .... now that would be a campaign! The "right management and with sympathetic owners" criteria could probably be satisfied there, but then you of course need paying customers. Without crippling business rates Norwich City Council, and with a free of tie regime on beer, the more romantic decision would be for the Council meeting to reject the application to convert to flats and retain the Branford Arms as a Licenced premises. Be brave Norwich Council, listen to the pub preservation officer from CAMRA. Maybe keep the Branford as a community facility for all locals to enjoy. A community centre with a bar maybe? Hey thats a pub isnt it ?

    Report this comment

    robbie28

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • Having been a licencee for 21 years and laterly a trainer for Enterprise Inns, Im sure I know nothing compared with everyone else, however I do have an opinion concerning the decline of the british pub. No.1 You all jumped on the bandwagon and voted for Tony Blair, he sold you the idea of french style drinking and you bought the idea. No.2 The experienced licencee's could see the problems and got out of the trade, to be replaced by a industry of "I know"s. On my rounds I visit around 20 pubs a week all over east anglia, I'm supposed to mentor new licencee's, but the biggest problem is they are all experts, they all know everything and they listen to no-one, My recipe for a succesful pub is simple, bar all under 18's, stick to the old hours and dont serve food. (Let me explain the no food bit) If you serve food you will drive away the drinkers, the dart players,the people who want to watch the footy or listen to a band). If my customers ask for food they get directions to the chinky. So you all voted for T.Blair aka war criminal,con man and destroyer of all things British, well folks you voted for him and his ideas, you have to live with it.

    Report this comment

    pubmandave

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • The toxic mixture of high rates,the smoking ban,high drink prices,and the effects of the recession have done for another fine pub! Sad because I've played many gigs there! The obstructive legislation regarding live music is another factor,I remember the landlady being fined for infringing some restrictive law against holding live music sessions in the room upstairs! unfortunately the future looks bleak for music and lovers of real ale,and we are all the poorer for it.

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • A Fine Building..at least its not proposed to demolish it !

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • I used to skive off school to play pool in this pub back in the 80's such a shame another pub is going to be turned into housing same as the cygnet on silver rd but at least its not going to be knocked down

    Report this comment

    david106

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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