Pub for sale after owners faced 'barrage of abuse' over homes plan

The Woolpack pub in King's Lynn, which could be turned into homes Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Woolpack pub, Gaywood Road, King's Lynn. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk pub that is more than 150 years old is up for sale after the owners withdrew plans to turn it into new homes.

Peter Napthen and Wendy Newland had hoped to convert the Woolpack, Gaywood Road, King's Lynn, into a house of multiple occupation so they could retire. 

However, after getting criticised by some local people for the plan, and then having to close because of coronavirus, they withdrew their application to the council and the pub is now up for sale.

Mr Napthen said: "We have reduced the price a little but if we don't get a buyer we will re-submit the plans. We faced a barrage of criticism from people. The government has also treated pubs like second class citizens, it has been crippling."

Woolpack pub, Gaywood Road, King's Lynn

Inside the Woolpack pub, Gaywood Road. - Credit: Woolpack

He said the pub had been for sale before covid struck but a sale had fallen through.

"All we want to do is retire," he added.

The pub, on the junction with Tennyson Avenue, next to the College of West Anglia's main campus, is for sale with six bedrooms, including owner's accommodation of two bedrooms.

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When the couple took it over in 2014, they completely refurbished it.

The planning application to King's Lynn and West Norfolk borough council at the time attracted more than 100 comments, 95 from the public, who were divided over the issue. Some people raised concerns over the lack of car parking if the pub was converted for housing. 

Others supported the couple's wish to provide for their retirement by the proposed conversion.

The pub is now for sale described as being "in a superb position next to West Anglia College Campus." It has a bar, split level dining room, separate carvery area and a fully equipped commercial kitchen.

Agents Guy Simmonds said: "There is real growth potential for new owner operators to build on the already well-established trade by increasing the food offer, hosting more entertainments such as live music and quiz nights and also by converting the letting accommodation to en-suite to attract people visiting the colleges."

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