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MP in talks over future of closed Norwich pub

PUBLISHED: 08:42 21 May 2011

Election count underway at the Showground for the Norwich North constituency; Chloe Smith at this mornings count; picture by Adrian Judd

Election count underway at the Showground for the Norwich North constituency; Chloe Smith at this mornings count; picture by Adrian Judd

Archant

The future of a pub which has been targeted by vandals following its closure in a dispute over rent is to be discussed by a Norwich MP when she meets the owners.

The Bull pub, in Hellesdon, shut its doors last month. Landlord Patrick Cutter quit after failing to reach an agreement with owners, Enterprise Inns, about a rent review. The issue is yet to be resolved and the Reepham Road pub, which closed on April 3, has now been targeted by vandals.

Following the attacks, members of Hellesdon Parish Council have vowed to write to the pub’s owners to request that it be made safe while negotiations about its future continue.

The issue has been taken up by Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, pictured, who hopes to find a solution to the current problems when she talks to Enterprise Inns bosses. She said: “I’ve secured a meeting for early June where I’m going to raise all the issues around The Bull as well as some of the other more material aspects affecting the pub industry.

“I’m not going into battle on behalf of the landlord, but I want to talk about some of the aspects concerning the way The Bull closed and understand the background there. I’m in close contact with the landlord about what has happened.”

But in addition to talking to bosses at Enterprise about the issues surrounding the pub’s closure, Ms Smith also wants to find out more about its future. She said: “Many local people have serious concerns about it as a focus for vandalism as well as the potential loss of a really good community asset.”

She has contacted the parish council about her meeting with Enterprise Inns and hopes they can combine to ensure that concerns over the site are addressed.

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns was unable to comment on Miss Smith’s request for a meeting, but added: “Enterprise Inns can confirm that the Bull is closed temporarily and we will endeavour to re-open to the local community as soon as possible.”

As previously reported Mr Cutter, who had been landlord for 13 years, said trading conditions had been so dire he had been unable to make a living. He had not paid the bill for the supply of beer for the final weeks prior to him leaving and was in talks with Enterprise about a rent review.

Are vandals making your life a misery? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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