Historic Norwich pub to be turned into flats

Another Norwich pub is set to make way for housing after its landlord said all hopes of continuing it as a business were 'hopeless'.

Plans to convert the Rosary Tavern into flats were yesterday approved by Norwich City Council's planning applications committee.

The Thorpe Hamlet pub, which dates back to the 19th century, closed in 2009 and owner Enterprise Inns sold it, blaming tough economic conditions.

David and Jayne Smith, from Coltishall, bought the building in Rosary Road and plan to turn the two-storey building into three flats, while keeping the existing flat on the second floor.

Concerns were expressed at yesterday's meeting that too many pubs in the city were disappearing and that there will be few facilities left for future generations.

But Mrs Smith said they had tried everything they could to market the pub.

She said: 'The pub's history speaks for itself and no viable tenant has emerged over the year.'

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Mrs Smith said if planning permission was not granted then the pub would be knocked down, losing the historic building altogether, as demolition can take place without planning consent. Meanwhile, committee members urged people to use their pubs.

Graeme Gee said: 'We have seen two or three pubs in recent months; they're becoming like churches in Norwich, they are no longer used. It's sad.

'While we can put them on the historic pub list, it's up to the people in the area to prove they are viable. Use it or lose it.'

Michael Banham added: 'There's going to be nothing for the future generations in the community if times change but then if the pubs are not used, it's a difficult situation.'

Last month, the committee agreed for the former Queen Charlotte pub in Dereham Road to be turned into a community centre.

The Evening News' Love Your Local Campaign has urged people to use the city's pubs.

For more stories on the campaign, visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/loveyourlocal

Are you battling to save a community facility? Call Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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