Time set to be called on another former Norwich pub

The Branford Arms. The former pub looks likely to make way for housing.

The Branford Arms. The former pub looks likely to make way for housing. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009

Yet another former Norwich pub looks likely to join the ever lengthening list of locals which have made way for housing.

The Branford Arms served its first drinks in 1895, but shut its doors in January 2009 and councillors are this week set to make a decision which means it is unlikely to ever be a pub again.

Old Catton-based Adar Developments have submitted plans to Norwich City Council to turn the pub, in Branford Road in the north of the city, into four flats, with a further three in the garden.

Officers at City Hall are recommending approval when the city council's planning committee meets on Thursday, but the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has urged councillors to reject it.

Mike Spivey, pub preservation officer for the Norwich and Norfolk branch of CAMRA, wrote to the council warning that the city's 'cultural heritage and social amenities are being lost'.

He said: 'This is a large, roomy pub which has been popular in its past. It has a good upstairs function room, once used regularly as a meeting place for local groups and societies.

'Under the right management and with sympathetic owners, there is no reason why this should not be a viable business as a pub again.'

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But, in the report which will come before councillors, council officers state: 'The pub is located in a densely built up residential area north of the city centre, which is generally well served with local pubs within easy walking distance.

'Whilst the loss of a pub licensed since 1895 is regrettable, given availability of other venues, the proposal could not be resisted on the basis of being contrary to the historic pubs policy.'

Officers add the conversion plan means 'much of the architectural character of the original building' would be maintained.

The Evening News has ben urging customers to either 'use or lose' pubs through our Love your Local campaign.

To see more stories from the campaign visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/ loveyourlocal

• Have you got a story about a pub opening or closing in the Norwich area? Call Norwich Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk