No buyer for former pub site in Earlham West Centre, Norwich

The owners of one of the ugliest eyesore sites in Norwich have admitted that nobody wants to buy it in the current economic climate.

Raymond Plummer and wife Beverley have applied to extend the time period allowed to demolish the Shoemaker pub in Earlham West Centre and start redeveloping it.

The pub has been empty since 2005 and has become a magnet for vandals with residents and councillors campaigning for its demolition.

Planning permission was previously given to knock it down and redevelop the site to provide six new houses and 12 flats - six one-beds and six two-beds.

But the time period for the start of development is due to expire in March and an extension has been requested from the city council by the applicants, who live in Barton Turf.

The news comes just months after city council leaders pledged to keep pushing for action at eyesore derelict sites in Norwich, including the Shoemaker, after meeting government officials at Westminster.

Mr Plummer said: 'We had permission to knock it down and build homes before, and there was a housing association interested in it. 'The time period for the planning permission has now been reduced from five years to three years so we have had to apply for an extension.

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'It is still up for sale and we do want to develop it if we can find a buyer. The trouble is finding the right buyer. We don't like the way it looks now.'

Mrs Plummer added: 'We do have people marketing it for us but the only people who will be interested in it, because of its location and the climate, are housing associations. We would like to see it developed and are doing the best we can, and are keeping the local councillors up to date, so they can keep residents informed of what's happening.'

As reported, in April 2008 fire crews were called to the site three times in a day as yobs repeatedly set fire to a discarded mattress.

The Shoemaker was opened on April 16, 1955 after the licence was transferred from the Duke of Wellington in Coburg Street in the city centre.

Do you live near an eyesore site in Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email