Plans to convert 'unviable' grade II listed pub into family home submitted
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A grade II listed pub in Great Bricett could be converted into a family house after the coronavirus pandemic tipped the business "past the point of return".
An application to change The Red Lion Inn, in Greenstreet Green, into a single home has been submitted to Mid Suffolk District Council, indicating the pub's intent to close.
A number of reasons were given by applicant Everose Ltd as to why the pub had become unviable and therefore could not continue to trade.
They quoted a lack of passing trade, a small local population and the impact of the pandemic as reason for the application.
The application said: "Although the established use of the site is for a public house, the business operation has declined considerably in recent years following a heavy decline in trade as this statement will go on to evidence.
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"The current Covid-19 pandemic has hampered business potential further, confirming the unviable commercial position which is beyond the point of return."
Recent efforts had been made by the owners to 'reinvent' the site, moving to a completely vegan menu which was reportedly received well.
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However, the move did not turn the fortunes of the business around enough to prevent its closure.
Other uses for the building were considered such as an exclusive gastropub or alternative fine dining restaurant, however a limited kitchen capacity and lack of interest meant that these alternatives were deemed unviable.
"The vegan menu has been well received, but the footfall is simply not enough," said applicant Everose Ltd.
"Whilst this has stimulated interest more widely, sales have plateaued.
"This is not sustainable and is a clear marker that the site is not commercially viable when different types of rural public house offering are provided."
It is not currently known when the pub will shut its doors.
The plans would see the site converted into a four-bedroom family home, if approved.
Most of the property would be based on the ground floor, with an open plan kitchen/dining/living room area, as well as a snug, bathroom and two bedrooms. One would be en-suite.
On the second floor would be two en-suite bedrooms.
The plans will now be reviewed by council officers before they are approved or rejected.