Row between pub owner and residents set to reignite over housing plan

Villagers in Framsden have repeatedly attempted to buy out the pub, including Glenn Buckingham (righ

Villagers in Framsden have repeatedly attempted to buy out the pub, including Glenn Buckingham (right) Picture: SARAHLUCY BROWN

A Suffolk pub owner has launched a fresh bid to convert the building into housing - though campaigners are expected to mount an opposition to the proposals.

Julia Coulthard, owner of the Dobermann Inn in Framsden, has submitted a planning application to Mid Suffolk District Council to signify a change of use of the building to residential after suffering years of significant financial losses.

However, Framsden Pub Group, who have repeatedly made attempts to block previous proposals by Mrs Coulthard, are likely to challenge the plans.

The Dobermann Inn, in The Street, closed in November 2016 after the death of landlady Sue Frankland.

Mrs Coulthard inherited the pub, which, according to planning documents, is now known as Asbach House.

It is widely rumoured to be one of the venues Ed Sheeran played at in his youth as he rose to fame as a global superstar.

The pub was listed as an asset of community value in October 2017 as campaigners aimed to gather the funds required to buy it out.

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However, Mrs Coulthard said she had been left with personal debts of around £100,000 as a result of acquiring the pub.

She also said it is 'arguable' the losses are at least in part attributable to Mid Suffolk's efforts to encourage the retention of the failed pub as a community pub asset - without giving consideration to the 'commercial reality and substantial financial distress' it has caused.

Mrs Coulthard previously said the residents' frequent objections to her plans had caused 'misery' to her family and said she would never sell the pub to the community under any circumstances.

Despite garnering interest on the market since its closure, a new owner for the building is yet to be found.

The new application to change the use of the building is being made so it can be put on the housing market - though the move is likely to spark a fresh row between owner and residents.

Glenn Buckingham, of Framsden Pub Group, said residents will soon meet to discuss their next step towards keeping the Dobermann Inn in the village.

He said: 'We are surprised and looking at our options. We still wish to have a pub in Framsden.'