Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

East Anglia: Pub conversion rate continues to slow

09:01 09 April 2014

Villagers in Friston are campaigning to prevent the conversion of the Old Chequers Inn.

Villagers in Friston are campaigning to prevent the conversion of the Old Chequers Inn.

More pubs in East Anglia are being retained for continued use rather than being converted into housing, according to new property figures.


Fleurets, the leisure property specialist, has announced that more than 65% of free houses sold in the east of England in 2013 were retained as pubs,marking the second successive year-on-year increase and an encouraging outlook for the industry.

The region also retained more pubs than the national average of 56%, according to the statistics.

A spokesman for Fleurets said: “We have continued to see a slow down in the conversion of public houses sold for alternative use, but the most common end uses haven’t changed a great deal over the last four years.”

The announcement follows further success stories in Suffolk, which bucked the national trend by welcoming more pub openings than closures over the same period.

Figures compiled by the Campaign for Real’s Suffolk and North Essex branch earlier this year showed that 19 pubs reopened in 2013 compared with the 17 that closed.

Community leaders in villages threatened with the loss of their last remaining pub, have welcomed the encouraging outlook, despite warning that much of the damage may have already been done.

Bryan Hall, a district councillor in Wickham Market, has seen the impact of pub closures on his community after the George Inn burned down a year ago.

“I think it’s probably like so many things in life – you won’t full appreciate it until it’s gone,” he said.

“Quite a few people in Wickham Market have expressed considerable concerns that they no longer have the same opportunities as they did to enjoy a meal and a quiet drink as they did before.”

Although Mr Hall believes there is a “growing awareness” of the importance of retaining pubs, he also questions whether the figures truly mark a turning point for the industry or merely reflect the fact that so many have already been sold for housing that the market has bottomed out.

However, with many villagers campaigning to save their pubs, Mr Hall also believes that landlords are becoming more encouraged about their chances for success.

In Friston, parish councillors and villagers have tried to prevent the sale of The Old Chequers Inn for housing, by submitting plans to register it as a “community asset”.

Acting parish chairman Frances Cardy has stressed the importance of retaining pubs in small rural villages. “You need a focal point in the village, particularly as small as ours, where we have nothing else,” she said.

“Its the only central point of contact – we have no shops, there’s no school, there’s nothing else.”

A spokesman for Fleurettes said: “We have continued to see a slow down in the conversion of public houses sold for alternative use, but the most common end uses haven’t changed a great deal over the last four years.”



  • I would have thought that the majority of pubs being closed are the ones that the brewery cannot make money out of or find a tenant willing to put his money into. A Free house requires someone to invest a lot of money into it by buying it outright but having the benefits of being able to buy beer and spirits at sensible, not inflated brewery prices. You are not going to buy a free house without doing your home work to ensure you will get a return on your investment. Very few people are going to buy a closed pub just to be able to live in the residential part of it. It takes a lot of time and proof that it is unviable as a pub before you can convert it into a totally private house.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

  • Imagine this headline then. (The facts are the same) . "35% of free houses sold in the east of England in 2013 were not retained as pubs". I rest my case.

    Report this comment

    John Alborough

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Angela Rushforth, managing director of Ridgeons, with the firm's Investors in People gold accreditation.

Regional timber and builders’ merchant chain Ridgeons has been awarded a “gold” rating under ther Investors in People (IiP) programme.

Alex Till of Menta.

Suffolk-based Enterprise agency Menta and the county branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD) are working together to help Suffolk business owners as they strive for growth.

The water unit from the Prince's Street fire station with Ipswich with officials from the Port of Ipswich and students from Suffolk New College at the water safety demostration hosted by the port.

The Port of Ipswich teamed up with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to stage a rescue simulation off Orwell Quay.

From left, Chris Chamberlain from HTK, Vicki Cole from Crafted and Helen Dodman from Ipswich Central, the three organisations behind the Destination Digital conference.

The company behind the delivery of the Ipswich town centre Business Improvement District project has teamed up with two local digital specialist to stage a conference on online marketing for the tourism and hospitality sectors.

French Connection has warned that it faces a substantial loss when it posts its annual results.

Fashion chain French Connection today warned that it now expects to make a big annual loss after seeing its recovery hopes dashed by a difficult spring trading period.

Andrew Harrison, managing director of Stansted Airport.

Manchester Airports Group, parent company of Stansted Airport, scored a four-star rating in Business in the Community’s 2015 CR Index.

Dominic Casserley, group chief executive of Willis.

Global risk advice and insurance broking firm Willis has launched a 550million euro (£393m) offer to take full control of the French broker Gras Savoye.

Sainsbury's is to cut 800 jobs as part of a restructuring of its store operations.

Sainsbury’s is to cut 800 jobs as it becomes the latest supermarket to restructure its operations in the face of tough trading conditions.

The CWind Sword offshore support vessel.

Colchester-based offshore service vessel manufacturer CTruk has won an order to supply two more of its MPC22 boats to sister company CWind.

Kay Allen, founder of Trading for Good, and Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society.

Ipswich Building Society has been presented with a Responsible Business Award at a Trading for Good East of England event held in its home town.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages