A pub owner who argued that he needed to build homes to finance the restoration of his centuries-old village inn now wants to demolish the 16th Century property.
Graham Scott, who failed three years ago to get permission to build six new homes, wants to knock down the now-closed King’s Head at Pulham St Mary and build six apartments and 12 homes.
However, he will find opposition to his plans is headed up by the South Norfolk MP, Richard Bacon, who happens to live in the village.
“It is little short of appalling that someone thinks they should be able to demolish a listed building that goes back centuries,” said Mr Bacon. “I am not opposed to development and there is no question that there is a housing crisis in this country, but you don’t solve it by ripping the heart out of a village.”
Mr Bacon will chair a public meeting which has been called for September 6 for villagers to discuss the latest development in a issue that has been running since the pub was put up for sale in 2010 for £225,000.
The Diss Express attempted to ask Mr Scott why he thought his latest plans would succeed when plans for six homes had been turned down. “All the information is in the public domain, I have nothing more to say. Have a nice day,” was his answer.
In his application, Mr Scott says the parish council supported the development of the Pennoyers Centre in a “heavily subsidised environment under the charities umbrella” while his family business struggled, and did everything to “finish” the King’s Head.
The public meeting has been called by South Norfolk district councillor Clayton Hudson who said: “I would have thought that someone who had an application for six homes refused would have come back with something more moderate, not the other way round.”
Mr Hudson said the meeting, which starts at 4pm, would also give villagers a chance to consider approaching South Norfolk Council about compulsorily purchasing the pub for community ownership