The clerk to Great Moulton Parish Council says councillors are “pleased” a planning application to turn the village’s public house into a home has been turned down.
Plans had been lodged to South Norfolk Council to change the pub to a residential property, but these were rejected by planners at the end of last month.
Marilyn Forder, who owned the pub, died in July before the final decision was made.
In planning documents to South Norfolk Council, she felt a change of use to a home would prevent an empty pub falling into a state of disrepair, adding she could no longer run the pub after being diagnosed with a third lot of cancer last year, closing the pub in September 2014.
In their decision notice, they said they felt the retention of the site as a public house was yet to be fully explored, and the proposal would result in the loss of “an important community facility”.
The council added: “It is considered that it has not been adequately demonstrated that the business could not be viable nor that the property has been adequately marketed at a reasonable agreed price for a minimum six month period.”
John Davies, clerk to Great Moulton Parish Council, told the Diss Express: “The Parish Council is pleased that the application has been refused as it believes the Fox still has a future as a pub.
“Unfortunately due to Marilyn’s illness and other factors its opening has been sporadic, which has led to loss of custom.
“With the right people in charge it could be a very well supported pub.”
The parish council recommended refusal of the proposal, claiming it is an “attractive country pub” and that it was “capable of continuing in this use”.
A previous bid to change the pub to a private dwelling was refused in October 2009.
The pub was crowned South Norfolk Council Community Pub of the Year in 2012.
Auctioneers, Auction East Anglia, said it had gone up for sale in April, with a guide price of £200,000.
They said despite a “comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign”, the property did not sell, and added the “vast majority” of those interested were people wanting to convert the pub into a house, with “very little interest” from potential suitors as running it as a public house.
A spokesperson for South Norfolk Council said the planning decision remains with the property, rather than the applicant. They added the decision notice had been sent to the executor of the will.