‘Last resort’ as council gets go-ahead to force eyesore pub site owner to sell up
- Credit: Submitted
A “last resort” action means council bosses are forcing the owner of the site of a former pub, which closed 20 years ago, to sell them the land.
The derelict Mile Cross Road site of the former King’s Arms pub, which served its last pint in 2000 and stood empty until it was demolished in 2015, has become a blight on the local community.
Enforcement action has had to be taken because of flytipping and pests such as rats.And Norwich City Council is now set to force the owner to sell the land in order to bring the site back into use as housing.
Permission had previously been granted for homes to be built on the site, but that never happened and permission lapsed.
The city council said it had tried to agree a deal with the owner to take on the site, but when one could not be thrashed out they resorted to seeking a compulsory purchase order.
The secretary of state has agreed to grant a compulsory purchase order and the council is able to force the owner to sell up.
The price which the council will pay for the land is not being revealed at this stage.
The council hopes to build five council homes on the site - although it would need to secure planning permission for that housing.
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Gail Harris, Norwich City Council’s cabinet member for social housing, said: “Long-term vacant sites such as the Kings Arms bring with them a variety of problems, such as being eyesores and attracting anti-social behaviour, both detrimental for those residents close by, as well as the wider neighbourhood.
“Using a compulsory purchase order is always a last resort, but having tried several other options, we decided to take this proactive approach and will shortly be applying for planning to build much needed social housing for Norwich residents.”
A neighbouring former council house in Glenmore Gardens has already been acquired by the council as part of its plans for housing.
When the council agreed to apply for a compulsory purchase order in March this year, Mike Stonard, the council’s cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said: “This is a milestone and I think it is this council acting proactively and demonstrating that, where there are eyesore sites around the city, that we are prepared to take action to bring them back into use.”