Historic pub poised for mini-market use bringing 20 jobs

MAINWELL! FANCY SEEING YOU HERE! An astonished Peggotty's spotted his first car parked outside the A

The Albion in Gorleston has been serving the community as a pub for over a century but may now be turned into a convenience store if planners allow. - Credit: Archant

A bid to turn an "unviable" pub into a convenience store is in the hands of planners.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee is meeting on Wednesday (September 22) to decide the fate of The Albion in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston which has been trading since 1884 and remains open.

Punch Partnerships says the pub has been "struggling for some time".

Albion pub Gorleston

The Albion pub in Gorleston had been suffering a decline in sales even before the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by real estate company Savills. - Credit: Google Maps

Papers presented ahead of the meeting say there are a 11 pubs within 800m and four within 400m, enough to fill the gap if it closed.

The applicant states it had been "sporadically marketed" for 19 months and that the only interest was from retail.

Officers, while preferring to see "continuous marketing" for 12 months, said they were broadly happy with most tests being met.

The report noted there were ten vacant units within Gorleston town centre and three on the edge, but that none were suitable as a convenience store.

Although there are two smaller shops nearby it did not think they would be adversely affected, suggesting the new shop's car park be free for everyone for two hours to encourage longer stays that could spread the spend.

Most Read

Near neighbours have voiced concerns spanning parking, litter, noise, and loss of a community pub and meeting place for local groups.

One person said: "This is an iconic building and public house, we have two large convenience stores in very close proximity, a supermarket just down the road and a Tesco Express one mile away, so why do we need another?

"We are losing public houses all over the place and it would be terrible for the area to lose another."

Another objector was against the creation of a "claustrophobic and miniscule" shop during the Covid era, adding: "Current circumstances are the worst to judge any pub business surely?"

Meanwhile, the loss of a community meeting place was also flagged as an issue.

One person said it was "very much needed" especially when people had been separated and isolated so much over the past year.

They added: "Several pubs in Gorleston have shut over the years and we need to keep the few that are left - and that have no disturbance issues - to serve their community and provide a friendly port of call when needed."

The meeting is at 6pm in the council's Assembly Room and online via its YouTube channel.