Shop plan for tragic village pub site ‘should go ahead’

The former compasses pub at Snettisham ANL-150528-075304009
The former compasses pub at Snettisham ANL-150528-075304009
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Proposals to turn a village pub struck by tragedy into a shop and offices is to go before West Norfolk councillors.

Officials have recommended the scheme for the Compasses pub in Snettisham is approved by the borough’s planning committee on Monday.

And the plan from the Co-operative Group Food Ltd has also been welcomed by community leaders, despite traffic concerns and a near 400-strong petition against it.

The Lynn Road pub passed into notoriety in March 2010, when the body of its landlady, Rebecca Thorpe, was found in a freezer.

She had been shot dead by her partner, Michael Tucker, who was jailed for life for her murder in May 2011.

The scheme, the fourth proposed for the site since then, would allow the company to extend the building for a food store containing around 300 square metres of sale and storage space, plus first floor offices.

And officers’ report to the committee says the plan does meet both local and national planning guidelines.

But it also reveals that a petition containing 393 signatures has been submitted to the council by the owners of the Snettisham Village Stores.

It argues that the development would lead to additional traffic and increase safety risks for children attending the nearby village school.

The petition also raises concerns about parking and delivery lorries blocking the road for lengthy periods.

The delivery worry has been echoed by the village’s parish council, who have called for suitable conditions to be imposed if permission is granted and double yellow lines to be painted on the road.

However, they also “look forward to the site being finally developed”.

Six letters of objection have also been submitted, including one from the Village Stores owner suggesting the plan would put him out of business.

Officers said they understood the concern, but added: “This relates to market forces and competition, which are not planning considerations.”

The report also pointed out that planning policies require councils to support proposals that would create economic growth in rural areas.

Four letters of support have also been submitted to the council, arguing that the store is needed and can be sustained.