Owner of former pub site could be forced to sell it so homes can be built
PUBLISHED: 12:39 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:23 04 March 2020
New life could finally be breathed into the site of a former Norwich pub which closed 20 years ago - and has become an eyesore infested by rats.
Norwich City Council is ready to force the owner of the Mile Cross Road site where the King's Arms pub used to be to sell up to City Hall.
The pub served its last pint in 2000 and stood empty until it was demolished in 2015. Permission had been granted for homes to be built on the site, but that has never happened.
Before it was knocked down, council officers took enforcemenet action, because of flytipping and pests such as rats and foxes.
And the city council now wants to serve a compulsory purchase order (CPO), which would mean the owner would have to sell the site to City Hall.
If that order goes through, then the council hopes to build five council homes on the site - although it would need to secure planning permission.
A report, which will go before the council's Labour cabinet next week states: "Although the building has been demolished, the site is still vacant, overgrown, is an eyesore and subject to antisocial behaviour and fly tipping.
"The council has recently re-secured the site by mending the front gates free of charge to the owner to prevent access by large scale fly tippers."
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Officers said the council had also served notice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1948 to ensure fly-tipping is removed and to destroy rats.
Action could be taken against the owner if that does not happen.
How much the council would pay for the site is not being revealed at this stage.
The secretary of state will need to make a decision on whether to grant a compulsory purchase order and objections can be made to the process.
Mike Stonard, the council's cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said: "It's a long, legal process to go through to get a CPO and it's a last resort.
"But, with a number of stalled brownfield sites around Norwich and a need for social housing, we will do what we can to help that happen."
He said the council was keen to build more social housing with a larger number of bedrooms.
Designs have been drawn up for one five-bed, three four-bed and a two-bed bungalow to be built on the site.