Owner of the former pub, The Bull Inn in Thorpe Morieux, says she will consider “realistic” bids from the community to buy the premises

Owner Carol Gibson outside the former Bull Inn pub in Thorpe Morieux.

Owner Carol Gibson outside the former Bull Inn pub in Thorpe Morieux. - Credit: Archant

The owner of former pub which is up for sale has said she will listen to offers from the community but only if they are “realistic”.

Locals outside the former pub who are calling for it to re-open.

Locals outside the former pub who are calling for it to re-open. - Credit: Archant

The Bull Inn in Thorpe Morieux, between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket, is up for sale for £425,000 as a five bedroom house.

It was changed from a pub to bric-a-brac shop in June 2013. Owner Carol Gibson, 61, said a combination of factors, including the recession and a lack of community support meant the pub was converted into the shop. But this view is contested by the parish council and the group, the Friends of Thorpe Bull.

Ms Gibson said: “I would be more than happy to see The Bull Inn reopen. I put the property up on the market sometime ago with a reputable estate agent to give the village a chance to buy it.

“The parish council put in a formal offer for the property but for only half the value and I have turned this offer down.

“Should the parish council liaise with all of the village, rather than just a few and action their original proposal to use a scheme whereby individuals can buy shares and if successful own a community pub, then with their financial involvement they may be able to the find the shortfall of money to allow them to purchase the property at a realistic price and turn it back into a pub.”

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The pub has been listed as an “asset of community value” which gives the village six months to raise the funds needed to purchase The Bull. But Ms Gibson has applied for planning permission for a “change of use” application which would see the building formally change from being listed as a business to a home. Whether the village would still have six months to raise the sums is uncertain if the planning permission is granted.

Anne Nicholls, parish council chairman, said the offer of £200,000 for the pub had actually come from the Friends group. She claimed the £425,000 asking price made it the “most expensive pub in East Anglia”.

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Mrs Nicholls said: “People have bent over backwards to help her; we are absolutely sure it could be a viable pub, it always has been and we know it’s had its ups and downs. It’s well known by lots of people.”

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