The future of a closed public house in Bressingham remains uncertain after the owners appealed to remove the property’s Community Asset status that played a part in last year’s change-of-use application refusal.
The Chequers Inn, based on the A1066 Low Road, was placed on South Norfolk Council’s Asset of Community Value (ACV) register shortly before plans to convert the pub into a bed-and-breakfast were rejected in November, following a prolonged saga that sparked much controversy throughout the village.
A statement issued by the district council late last week confirmed an appeal had been lodged on behalf of the pub’s owners, Michael and Hazel Knox-Johnston.
It reads: “The Council has received an appeal against its decision to list the Chequers Inn, Bressingham, as an Asset of Community Value.
“The Council is obliged to follow a defined legal process when undertaking such review, which it is aiming to complete by February 5.”
The Chequers Inn, which has been closed for business since 2012 following two short-lived periods of tenancy, initially appeared on the ACV list after a campaign from the ‘The Friends of Bressingham Chequers’, a group of local residents who are calling for the property to be opened as a pub with traditional principles once again.
Mervyn Lambert, the businessman who offered to purchase The Chequers Inn during its planning application proceedings in 2014, said he did not know why the appeal against the ACV registration was being made, but added he was sure this meant the pub would not return in the near future.
He said: “We don’t know what the basis is for the owners putting this challenge in and we don’t know what their next move is after that.
“At the moment, we don’t have a pub. It’s been a long saga and I don’t expect it (The Chequers Inn) to be opening any time soon, which is a great shame.”
The agents representing the Knox-Johnstons have not commented on the appeal.