Popular Salhouse country pub could be turned into a 5-bedroom home

Another Norfolk pub could be about to bite the dust, if plans to convert it into a home and annex are approved.

Plans for a change of use at the The Lodge in Salhouse, near Rackheath, are recommended for approval by Broadland district councillors at a meeting on Wednesday.

The building, which dates back 120 years, was formerly a vicarage, and the country pub and hotel is a popular venue for wedding receptions and other functions.

The application, which could see it converted into a 5-bedroom home with a two-bedroom guest annex, has been submitted by Helen Bales, who owns the Vicarage Road pub with her son Andrew Bales, who is the landlord.

Mr Bales did not wish to comment ahead of the meeting, but the pub is believed to have seen a decline in customers in the last year.

A report to the district council by its business support and leisure manager states that on a recent visit, it was 'very apparent that the business was severely in decline with footfall into the facility significantly below that which would allow the business to be sustained'.

The report states that alternative uses for the building, which would allow it to still maintain a business use, were discussed with the landlord, but that they were unable to identify any other prospective uses.

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It continues: 'It is also apparent, from the year on year decline in income to the business, that it is no longer viable.

'Regrettably, I see no other option other than indeed to change the use to a dwelling and thus support the application.'

Salhouse parish council has no objections to the proposed conversion of the pub back to a private residence, which it had been before 197, although the parish council states in the report that it regrets the loss of a local amenity, which in the past had been an asset to the village and employed local people.

Meanwhile, Salhouse former district council ward member Chris Green has called on the planning committee to see the financial figures from the pub, to see if they justify the change of use.

The Evening News has ben urging customers to either 'use or lose' pubs in our Love your Local campaign.

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

Have you got a story about a pub either opening or closing in the Norwich area? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

The plans are recommended for approval at the planning committee meeting on Wednesday, May 25, at the council chamber in Thorpe St Andrew.

Check out our pub of the year finalist on page 17.