Could 'community asset' listing save this decaying village pub?

The Kings Head at Hemsby

The Kings Head could be handed 'community asset' status which would protect it from being turned into houses. - Credit: Liz Coates

A village pub that has been empty for more than 18 months could be thrown a lifeline.

The Kings Head, in Hemsby, is being advertised to let, but only to applicants that can demonstrate they have £35,000 to spend.

The pub, in North Road, closed in August 2019 and has been empty ever since.

On Monday Hemsby Parish Council is set to discuss its future, including the possibility of it being listed as an Asset of Community Value.

If successful the status would protect if from developers looking to turn it into homes, although someone would still have to come forward and run it.

The Kings Head in Hemsby

The Kings Head has been empty since August 2019. Its asset of community value status has now lapsed meaning it no longer has any special protections in planning. - Credit: LIz Coates

The model has worked successfully elsewhere in Norfolk, including at the White Horse in Upton where Prince Charles once famously offered his congratulations by pulling a foaming pint.

Parish council chairman Keith Kyriacou bemoaned the state of the pub.

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"At the moment it is just a derelict building and it is in such a state. There is nothing left inside."

He said the issue was on the agenda for Monday's (December 7) meeting when councillors would have a chance to have their say and consider the way forward.

The meeting is being held over video platform Zoom at 7pm.

Parish councillor Tina Nudd said she understood the pub had had community asset status previously, but that it had lapsed.

It was now being nominated by the group behind the neighbourhood plan.

"It has a beautiful garden at the back so it would be a shame to see it go for housing," she added.

Borough councillor James Bensly said there had long been three watering holes in the village with the social, club, The Bell, and The Kings Head - as well as all that was on offer in Beach Road and the tourist side of the village.

Under the community asset listing process the pub has to be nominated by a group and approved by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Fleurets who are marketing the pub say it is is in sought-after area close to the coast and Norfolk Broads.

It has two snugs, a conservatory, restaurant, and bar area, with a garden and upstairs flat.

The asset of community value status was championed under the previous government's localism agenda and means communities can ask their local council to grant certain amenities special status.