Battle over former village pub’s future to continue after planning refusal
The future of a village pub remains in doubt after planners rejected an application to turn it into a house.
The former Dobermann Inn, in Framsden, has been closed since the death of its much-loved landlady, Sue Frankland, four years ago.
Since then, debates have continued over what the future should be for the empty pub.
Mrs Frankland’s daughter, Julia Coulthard, has tried to sell the Grade II listed building - now known as Asbach House - so that it can be converted into a home.
Mrs Coulthard has always maintained that selling the building is essential to settling her late mother’s estate.
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However, a community group within the village, known as the Framsden Pub Group or FPG, has been battling to keep the building in use as a pub for residents for many years.
Recently, Mrs Coulthard applied to Mid Suffolk District Council for a change of use from mixed use to purely residential - but this was refused.
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Mrs Coulthard will now be going to the planning inspectorate to challenge the decision.
The council argued that it would lead to “the unacceptable loss of a valued community facility” and said that the benefits of the site did not outweigh the harms.
Mrs Coulthard said that the pub had not been a sustainable business venture for some time and that no serious offers had been made by the FPG to buy it, even when it went to auction.
“I am very disappointed,” said Mrs Coulthard.
“The idea that the former pub use can be reinstated is fanciful in the extreme, and the FPG has never shown that it has any funds available.
“I have no alternative but to appeal against the planning refusal, as that is the only way the debts of the estate can ever be settled.”
A spokesman for the Framsden Pub Group said that it had made offers for the pub in the past but that these have been refused.
“It’s a vital community asset,” said the spokesman.
“There is a lot of support in the village to return it as a pub and that only seems to be increasing. So we would like to be given the opportunity to do so.
“It’s been a pub for 300 years.”
The group said it was essential that there were talks over the future of the building and called on Mrs Coulthard to speak with them.