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Norwich MP backs city boozer

PUBLISHED: 16:30 02 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 01 July 2010

Locals enjoy at drink at the Canary Pub on the Heartsease estate.

Locals enjoy at drink at the Canary Pub on the Heartsease estate.

David Bale

A threatened city local is being backed in its fight for survival by a Norwich MP, who today called on the owner to see the community pub for themselves.

A threatened city local is being backed in its fight for survival by a Norwich MP, who today called on the owner to see the community pub for themselves.

The future of the Canary pub on the Heartsease estate is in doubt with plans to demolish it and build homes on the site due to go before city councillors next Thursday.

But 400 people have signed a petition to save the pub and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has now written to Enterprise Inns inviting its chief executive to see the community pub for himself.

In the letter, the MP said: “The landlady of the Canary, Lindsay Maher, has asked me to write to you to express the concern felt by the community at the possible loss of this popular pub.

“The building has certainly been through difficult times, including a fire, but locals overwhelmingly agree that Ms Maher has turned it around and made it into an asset for the area.

“You will be acutely aware in your industry of the effects that pub closures can have on communities.

“Ms Maher and I invite you or any member of your team to visit the pub and see for yourself what kind of place it has become, and what kind of loss the community risks if it closed.

“Considering the imminent planning application, we all appreciate this has become an urgent question and I would be grateful for a swift reply accordingly.”

Her call comes days after families turned out in force to support the landlady's campaign to save the pub at a community fun-day on Sunday.

Ms Maher, who took over the pub in January, was unavailable for comment yesterday, but barmaid Shelley Carver said the turnout on Sunday showed how much the community valued the pub.

She said: “We just want it to stay open and the more people who back our campaign the better. Hopefully, with an MP backing us, it could make a difference.”

Enterprise Inns was unavailable for comment.

As The Evening News has reported, plans have been submitted to Norwich City Council by Essex-based Dove Jeffery Homes to build 10 three-bedroom houses, 10 two-bedroom houses and five two-bedroom apartments with car parking on the site.

People have until Monday to make representations on the planning application.

The Evening News has urged people to support their local pub through our Love Your Local campaign.

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

Have you helped breathe new life into a city pub? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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