Stunning 17th century hall could become a home

Catton Old Hall on Lodge Lane 

Catton Old Hall on Lodge Lane - Credit: George Thompson

A listed building dating back to the 17th century could be converted from a guesthouse into a private home. 

New owners of Catton Old Hall on Lodge Lane, Old Catton, have submitted a change of use planning application to Broadland District Council. 

The guesthouse is in the process of being bought by the applicant, who is looking to take it on as a house.

Strutt and Parker planning agent Adam Davies, who is representing the applicant, said: "It is not like there will be any physical changes to the building.

"At this stage it is just to establish its use as a dwelling rather than a guesthouse."

Mr Davies added that he was not able to reveal the identity of the new owners. 

It is anticipated the plan will be submitted for examination in July.

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If approved, it would see the building revert to its original purpose as a private house. It was only converted into a guesthouse in 1989.

A number of applications have previously been submitted to change the use of the listed building, including one which proposed converting it into six residential apartments before being withdrawn in 2008.

An application submitted by Mr Davies states the latest proposal would "not appear out of character in the context of surrounding housing". 

He added: "The proposed change of use from guesthouse to private dwelling would result in the loss of a tourism facility.

"However, there are no policies that specifically seek to resist or restrict this. Its contribution to local employment is modest, currently supporting the equivalent of one full time employee." 

The application also states there is sufficient car parking and private garden space for residential use. 

However, it has been noted the planning history and previous representations shows highway safety and vehicle movements are a concern to residents.

An anonymous Lodge Lane resident's comment on the planning portal states: "We have no objections to this change of use on the understanding that the leylandii trees [on the border with Catton Hall] are kept under control." 

The parish council raised no objections to the plans during its recent annual meeting.