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Pub's future to be discussed next week

PUBLISHED: 17:40 14 April 2010 | UPDATED: 11:43 08 July 2010

Plans that hope to ensure a Breckland village will see its pub reopen look set to be given the green light.

Dan and Anna Metcalfe, of Shropham-based Chapel Partners, have applied to Breckland Council for permission to make alterations to the Red Lion Inn, at Caston, near Watton, as well as create two new homes on the site.

Plans that hope to ensure a Breckland village will see its pub reopen look set to be given the green light.

Dan and Anna Metcalfe, of Shropham-based Chapel Partners, have applied to Breckland Council for permission to make alterations to the Red Lion Inn, at Caston, near Watton, as well as create two new homes on the site.

This is due to be discussed by Breckland's development control committee on Monday and planning officers are recommending that members approve the plans.

The Grade II listed pub has been shut since 2007 and last November an application by Chapel Partners to turn the venue into a three-bedroom home was rejected by Breckland Council following strong objection from the local community.

Mr Metcalfe told the EDP earlier this year that he now wanted to relaunch the pub as a quality destination for eating and drinking, and he said the money for the renovation would come from the proceeds of the two new homes.

The new application states that Chapel Partners want to make alterations to the Red Lion, convert an existing outbuilding in the grounds into a two bedroom home, build a new home on the former beer garden, and alter the existing car park.

Breckland has received a number of letters of support saying that the reopening of the pub would be a key facility for the local community and would have a positive impact on local businesses, and that it is a sensitive scheme in keeping with the character of development in this part of the village.

Concerns have also been raised about whether the future of the pub can be guaranteed if planning permission is granted.

Caston Parish Council has said it would like the pub to reopen but it is concerned about the two extra homes, the loss of car parking space, and the future use of the Red Lion pub as a business.

In a report to Breckland's development control committee, council officers said the applicants would be willing to enter into an agreement to carry out the alterations on the pub and reopen the Red Lion before the rest of the work takes place, but the officers said it would not be possible for the council to control the future of the pub in perpetuity.

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