'Look at it now, it's a disgrace' - former pub to become flats
PUBLISHED: 12:46 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:46 13 February 2020
The go-ahead has been given for a former pub, once a beloved live music venue, to be turned into housing.
The Ferry Boat Inn, in Norwich's King Street, used to be one of the city's main rock music venues.
It had been a pub for the best part of two centuries, but it has been empty since 2006.
In 2016, Norwich City Council gave permission for redevelopment of the Grade II-listed property and its surroundings.
Permission was given for 41 flats, in the existing building and in new buildings, including a five-storey tower at the back of the former pub.
But planning permission expired in October last year, so applicant Ferry Boat Developments had to seek fresh permission - with investors ready to put money into the site if that is secured.
A similar scheme to that which previously approved was submitted.
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And members of City Hall's planning committee agreed on Thursday to grant that permission by 10 votes to one, subject to a legal agreement over how much of the scheme will be affordable housing.
Councillors, including Labour's Ian Stutely expressed concern over the council's timescales for development to start and pushed for quicker development.
Green councillor Nigel Utton said: "This used to be my favourite pub and look at it now, it's a disgrace.
"We never should have allowed it to get into this state. We have got to get in there now and rescue this building."
Officers said it was a complex site to develop, while representatives for the developers said they were keen to get work started right away.
Green councillor Sandra Bogelein said: "I think it's a site which needs to be developed because it is an eyesore."
But she said she was disappointed the scheme did not "look to the future" in terms of carbon reduction and biodiversity.
Historic England had initially expressed concerns, particularly around the impact on a medieval arch on the site, but, after further talks with the applicant Ferry Boats Developments, say they are "broadly content".
The Environment Agency had objected initially due to flooding concerns, but removed that after getting further detail on mitigation measures.