Rat-infested pub torn down to make way for eco-friendly homes

Gail Harris, portfolio holder for social housing, on site at the development of the former Kings Arms pub in Mile Cross.

Gail Harris, portfolio holder for social housing at Norwich City Council, on site at the development of the former King's Arms pub in Mile Cross. - Credit: Norwich City Council

A former pub which became an eyesore after it was abandoned in 2000 is on the way to being transformed into five eco-friendly homes.

Timber frames have already been built on the former site of the King's Arms pub in Mile Cross Lane.

During the time it stood abandoned fly-tipping had left the Mile Cross site infested by rats, with vandals smashing the pub's windows and graffitiing wooden boards. 

The derelict former Kings Arms pub on Mile Cross Road. Photo: Steve Adams

The rear of the King's Arms pub as it looked prior to recent work.

This week the site was visited by councillor Gail Harris, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for social housing, who viewed the progress after work started six months ago.  

She said: “It is fantastic to see this formerly run-down site, which was attracting fly-tipping and antisocial behaviour, being developed into much-needed homes for Norwich people.

“Buying this site through a compulsory purchase order not only clears up a problematic eyesore in this community but is a proactive move to deliver on the council’s priority of building and maintaining good quality social housing to meet demand.”

The derelict Kings Arms pub at Mile Cross Road before it was demolished in 2015. Picture: Denise Bra

The front of the King's Arms pub as it looked prior to recent work. - Credit: Archant 2013

Work will see a two-bedroom bungalow, three four-bedroom homes and one five-bedroom house built on the site.

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The next step is for roofs to be put in place before the internal fitting of the homes begins.

They will be designed to save tenants money on heating and hot water.

The homes will also have extra insulation and low carbon features, including heat pumps and solar panels.  

Plans are expected to be finished in the autumn, with new tenants from the council’s social housing list set to move in shortly after.

It comes after the site was used as a warning to landlords who allow their properties to go to rack and ruin, with Norwich City Council pledging to make further compulsory purchases.

The project is being managed for the council by Broadland Housing Association and the homes are being built by Smith of Honingham.