New planning bid for former seafront pub

The former Gunner pub in Great Yarmouth bidding for a new cafe use

The former Gunner pub in Great Yarmouth opposite the Pleasure Beach is bidding for a new use. Pictured here in April 2021. - Credit: Google maps

A seafront pub remodelled by Lacons Brewery in the 1930s to serve the residents of a newly built estate is being touted for a new use.

The former Gunner pub in South Beach Parade, Great Yarmouth, kept its name for more than 60 years until 1996 when it became the Rok bar.

More recently ice-creams and fish and chips have been sold from the building, parts of which formed the original quartermaster's house belonging to the military barracks which stood there from 1855 to 1924.

The Rock pub in South Beach Parade Great Yarmouth in 2011.

The former Gunner pub in Great Yarmouth, later renamed Rok, pictured in July 2011. A new bid has been lodged to change its use from pub to cafe. - Credit: Google Maps

A proposed new development would see it abandon its pub use and become a cafe instead.

The plans put forward say it would create three full time jobs and be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week.

Documents submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council in support of the bid say it would bring back into use a long-empty building and provide an additional resource for residents and visitors.

The Barrack estate, Yarmouth.
Photo: Nick Butcher
Copy: EDP
For: EDP
EDP pics © 2006

The Barrack Estate was built in the 1920s on land formerly occupied by military barracks. The Quartermaster's house was transformed by Lacon's brewery into The Gunner pub to serve the new residents. - Credit: EDP pics © 2006

The papers say: "Although the former use of the premises was as a public house this use has long ceased, with part of the original premises now used as a hot food takeaway.

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"There is little prospect of the former use as a pub being viable but the proposed re-use of the building as a café serving hot food and drinks is considered a suitable re-use of the building, particularly taking into account the location of the premises within the main seafront policy area and the proposed operational hours which includes the early evening period."

After the military barracks closed in 1924 the land was cleared for housing and a pub hewn from the old quartermaster's house for the new residents, said Great Yarmouth historian and writer Colin Tooke.

The Gunner opened in 1938 and was well supported for much of its 60 years, locals remembering it being the hub of the community and the go-to destination on a Saturday night, as well as a popular choice for darts and pool players.

Unusually the pub kept its same name for a long period of time, Mr Tooke said.

A sign at the building proclaims a "coffee house coming soon".

To view the plans visit the borough council's planning portal quoting reference 06/22/0086/CU.