Bid to knock down 'unviable' country pub

Decoy Tavern Fritton Norfolk

The Decoy Tavern at Fritton failed to sell after being on the market for five years and twice reduced. - Credit: Google maps

A proposal to knock down a rural pub is in the hands of planners.

Under the plans The Decoy Tavern in Beccles Road, Fritton, will be swept away to make way for five homes.

Records show a pub on the site since 1841, which has been variously named Pot in Hand and Bird in Hand.

Parish councillor Rowland Dunn said he understood the pub had been for sale.

He said the matter had not yet come before members but that it was likely he would object on the basis that there was "nothing else left in the village apart from the post office" and that doing away with the amenity was "not conducive to village life".

A design and access statement submitted to support the bid states: "The Decoy Tavern is no longer viable as a business and marketing this for more than five years failed to result in a satisfactory sale."

It says the new three-bed homes will be "modest", meeting local need.

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The papers say: "The current landlord has been an owner of the pub for around 30 years, but he has seen a decline in business, customers, and turnover in recent years.

"Between 2016 and 2020, sales fell by over 30pc, whilst profit declined by 50pc to less than £10,000.

"The business was actively marketed for over five years, between April 2016 to June 2021, which significantly exceeds the 12-month period required by the emerging policy.

"It was valued at £395,000. This was reduced to £325,000 to encourage a sale, and a further reduction to £315,000 was made in 2021, comprising a 20pc discount on its valuation.

"The best offer was £275,000 in early 2021, 25pc less than the valuation five years previously.

"On this basis, the pub was taken off the market in June 2021."

The plan has been lodged by Brian Newson Developments of Caister and involves a new highway access off New Road and a new footway on the A143.

Images show the houses facing Beccles Road, with one set back on the corner.

Access to ten parking space will be off New Road.

The nearest other pub is The Bell at St Olaves, less than one mile away.

Planners are due to make a decision by December 21.