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Pub owner hopes for third time lucky with demolition

The owner of a closed village pub has been urged to stop wasting people’s time after launching a third bid to knock it down.

Graham Scott, landlord of the King’s Head Inn in Pulham St Mary, has lodged plans for its demolition with South Norfolk Council.

Mr Scott has made two failed attempts over the last decade to have parts of the Grade II-listed building torn down to make way for housing.

Kings Head Inn in Pulham St Mary. Picture: Mecha Morton..
Kings Head Inn in Pulham St Mary. Picture: Mecha Morton..

His latest effort in 2019 was refused as he failed to demonstrate that a new owner could not make a success of the business, which closed in 2007.

Ward councillor Clayton Hudson said planning officers had been very clear in their reasons for blocking demolition attempts in previous years. These had included fears about the loss of a listed building.

Cllr Hudson said: “The latest application will create unnecessary harm to the setting of adjacent listed buildings and its place in the centre of the village conservation area.

“Mr Scott has not submitted enough information to demonstrate that the building could not be brought back into use as a public house and has never marketed it for sale at a realistic price.

“He needs to stop wasting everybody’s time and offer the former pub for sale to the community to allow them to restore the centre of the village for the benefit of everyone.”

The building, which dates back to the beginning of the 16th century, is located in the centre of the village.

Mr Scott has previously said the planning stalemate has left him facing “virtual financial ruin”, having failed to reach an agreement on the site’s future use.

In his application supporting the demolition, he said: “My former pub, a family-run business, closed over 17 years ago as it became loss-making. The King’s Head is not an asset of community value.”

South Norfolk Council will consider whether to approve the proposals in due course.

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