Pub sign to be retained as work underway for new homes

The Royal Oak, pub of the week, North Walsham Road, Sprowston. Picture: Denise Bradley

The former Royal Oak pub in North Walsham Road, Sprowston, is now being converted into homes - Credit: Archant copyright 2011

A former pub sign will be preserved at a building which is now becoming homes on the outskirts of Norwich. 

Plans for the old Royal Oak pub in North Walsham Road, Sprowston, have been approved which will see the construction of eight new homes and garages. 

The pub closed down in 2012, with the building most recently operating as offices before being vacated by a London-based company in 2019. 

One of the conditions of the planning permission for new homes was that the pub sign could be re-erected as part of the new development. 

A spokeswoman for Broadland District Council said the sign will be relocated to an area fronting North Walsham Road to the north of the access road serving the development. 

The request from the town council was akin to a sign being preserved at the Beehive Public House when it became a Co-operative store. 

Norwich-based Peter Codling Architects were the applicant behind the plans which proposed to demolish the large industrial building at the rear of the site, as well as the pub. 

Construction is now well under way at the site with two roofs currently visible for two of the eight homes. 

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Sprowston town mayor John Ward said: "This development is welcomed by the town council and locals as a good use for the site.

"When the pub closed many years ago it was marketed as a pub but there was no interest and the site received change of use permission to become a commercial enterprise with offices and storage.

"All residents that I have spoken to are pleased that the site is now secured for housing. It is an attractive small development which will enhance this part of Sprowston and provide, much needed, homes." 

During the planning process, some neighbours on Colindeep Lane had expressed concerns over possible overlooking and noise disturbance from the new homes.

The Royal Oak pub dates back to at least 1830. Photo: Archant

The Royal Oak pub dates back to at least 1830. Photo: Archant

As a pub, the site dates back to 1789, though it was demolished in 1858 and rebuilt seven years later.

In 2003 there were plans the convert it into a veterinary surgery, which did not go ahead.