231-year-old pub spared demolition
PUBLISHED: 16:47 29 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:11 01 March 2020
Plans to demolish an empty 231-year-old pub have been rejected by the council.
Owner Marlinspike, a London-based asset management company, was denied permission to knock down The Griffin Pub in Thorpe St Andrew.
The pub, which was bought by the current owners in 2018, has stood derelict for nearly three years.
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Gary Leigh, a director at Marlinspike, said the building was such a frequent victim of break-ins and was perishing to the point that it needed completely demolishing.
He said if the plans were successful a further application would be submitted to redevelop the site.
But the council made the decision to reject the plans last month, on the basis the pub is an asset of community value and a non-designated heritage asset.
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Officers also said there was not enough evidence the pub could not be profitable in the future, and it had not been marketed adequately at an agreed price for at least a year - as per their planning policy for community buildings.
The plans had met with fierce criticism from the Norwich and Norfolk branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Broads Authority.
Richard Dixon, from CAMRA, said: "According to a survey by property firm Altus in 2018 about 76 pubs are closing each month nationally, much to the detriment to the community with many areas now without pubs for the community to use. It is therefore essential that the Griffin should be spared from demolition and to be return to use as a pub."
Cheryl Peel, senior planning officer at the Broads Authority, said: "The pub can be traced back to as early as 1789 so it clearly has some historic significance and the building is considered a to be a non-designated Heritage Asset and its loss would be regretful."
According to the Norfolk Pubs website, the premises on Yarmouth Road was recorded as The Griffon in 1789.
In 1888, its name was then changed to the Griffin and Pleasure Gardens in 1888, while it has also been known as Gunga Din's Old Colonial House.
It was renamed The Griffin in 2000, before being bought by Marlinspike in 2018.