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Council writes to government with ‘strong concerns’ over listing of Norfolk pub and impact on new-build school

PUBLISHED: 13:45 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:20 02 May 2018

The Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

A council has raised “strong concerns” with the government over the listing of a derelict pub, which may be a hurdle to work on a new-build school.

The Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk County Council’s children’s services team wrote to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in April to raise concerns over the Iron Duke pub in Great Yarmouth.

The pub, which has stood derelict for more than a decade, was Grade II listed by English Heritage last November, giving it protection against future development or demolition.

But it may impact the council’s plans to merge Alderman Swindell Primary with North Denes Primary, with the site for the new school sat near the pub.

MORE: Art Deco pub saved after campaign to get it listed and preserved succeeds

In the letter, seen by the EDP, they said access to the new school would run around the pub, which the council said, even if refurbished, “would not provide an appropriate neighbouring use to the school access”.

They said discussions had taken place with pub owners Bourne Leisure over a “possible land swap” between the pub and unused land at the northern end of the school site.

“This would also have involved the demolition of the existing building and conversion of the site to car park for the school,” it said. “However, in principle the council are not objecting to the future use of the building, but it is our opinion that its listing does little to address our concerns in regards to appearance and condition and makes significant expansion of the school more difficult in future.”

If, in future, the school were to grow from 420 to 630 places, they said the pub’s presence would likely see the plans “encounter objections on highways planning grounds”.

MORE: Legal challenge to halt closure of Norfolk primary stops - but campaigners say fight will continue

But, even at 420 places, they said conversion of the site to “school and community car parking” would provide major benefits.

On Wednesday, a council spokesperson said plans for the school were not dependent on the pub site, but that use would be “beneficial”.

“The Iron Duke site has been boarded up for a number of years and we believe it gives a negative impression of the area and especially as an entrance to a school,” they said. “Some brick work has fallen off the building in recent years and the isolated nature of the site has attracted fly-tipping in the past. We are concerned that the state of the site poses potential safeguarding risks around unauthorised access and anti-social behaviour.”

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