Reject Gayton homes, planners urge

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Proposals to convert an old village pub into four new homes have been opposed by borough council planners ahead of a meeting next week.

Freebridge Community Housing has applied for a change of use at the former Rampant Horse, on Lynn Road, Gayton, which it bought last year.

The plan is due to go before West Norfolk Council’s planning committee on Monday, but council officials have recommended it is refused.

Their report said planning guidelines supported the retention of community facilities, adding: “Officers believe there is an opportunity for a viable business to operate.”

A petition containing 186 signatures, plus 17 letters of objection, has been submitted in opposition to the scheme, against only one letter of support.

Among the objectors are the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), which argued the existence of a second pub in the village, The Crown, “should not be used as a reason to sanction the disappearance of the Rampant Horse.”

Objectors also maintain the pub would still be viable as a business with a “competent owner”, although Freebridge has cited figures obtained from the property’s previous owner, Enterprise Inns, which it says shows it is not.

The developers also maintain the scheme would help to meet a high level of housing demand in the area.

Parish councillors have not objected to the application, though they have raised concerns over access to two of the proposed properties because of poor visibility on Lynn Road.