Campaign to save village pub continues - despite home conversion plans
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
Villagers are continuing their campaign to reopen a pub that has been closed for nearly eight years - despite fresh plans to convert it into a home.
The Admiral’s Head, in Little Bealings, closed in 2012 after landlords Rosario and Jazmine D’Angelo had been in charge for eight and a half years.
Mr and Mrs D’Angelo have submitted revised proposals to East Suffolk Council seeking permission to convert the pub into a home, having failed in their first attempt in 2017.
The planning statement submitted with the new application said the pub “clearly requires significant investment to bring it up to a standard whereby it can function as a ‘destination’ public house”.
The owners cited rising costs due to a drainage issue as part of the reason for the pub’s closure.
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Friends of The Admiral’s Head, a campaign group consisting of residents of Little Bealings and the surrounding area, have been making attempts to take charge of the pub since forming out of a community meeting last year.
Around £70,000 has been raised so far in the group’s efforts, but no bid has yet been accepted by the proprietor.
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The pub has been listed as an asset of community value - which expires in 2022 - and the group has repeatedly put in bids to try and take over the property, though none have been accepted so far.
Despite the fresh submission of plans, the Friends of The Admiral’s Head remain determined that they will still be able to reopen the pub in the future.
Ian Ransom, a member of the group and chairman of Little Bealings Parish Council, said the pub would need to undergo a major renovation should it reopen after standing empty for so long.
However Mr Ransom said he believes the pub could be a viable venture, given its catchment area of surrounding villages and proximity to Ipswich.
He said: “We will be working with a view to submit a bid that the proprietors find acceptable.
“It’s just a case of finding sensible numbers.”
He added: “The people in the village would like the pub reopen at the heart of the community.
“East Suffolk Council has been very supportive of the group. The campaign hasn’t stopped, but we have to work together.
“Let’s hope and see.”