Residents to meet for ‘drinks’ in battle to reopen dilapidated pub

The Fox Inn in Garboldisham
The Fox Inn in Garboldisham

VILLAGERS and politicians hope to thrash out the future of a dilapidated pub at a meeting tonight.

Wellington Pub Company, which owns The Fox Inn in Garboldisham, has been invited for a ‘drink’ outside the pub to discuss how to end the long-running saga.

The pub has now been boarded up for five years.

Plans to turn the site into houses were turned down nearly two years ago.

The proposals by Wellesley Capital Investments had prompted around 180 objections.

Since then, villagers have been battling to get the pub reopened.

Parish councillor Janet Hance is chairman of The Fox Committee, which is spearheading the pub campaign.

“The Fox Inn in Garboldisham, a once thriving pub in rural Norfolk, is yet another example of corporate greed ignoring local needs and a social conscience,” she said.

“The Fox Inn has been boarded up for the last five years and left to deteriorate.

“The owners have done nothing to make the property attractive as a leasehold business proposition.

“Despite attempts by the local community to purchase the freehold of this Grade II listed building, the owners have consistently refused to consider any proposals put forward.”

The pub site has also become a target for thieves.

During one break in, they took kitchen equipment and copper piping, which led to flooding in the building.

Floor tiles have also been removed by thieves during a raid in August.

Mrs Hance said the latest incident, which happened during the day, had led authorities to demand security measures at the site

MP for South West Norfolk, Elizabeth Truss and Norfolk county councillor William Nunn are both due to be at tonight’s meeting.

They will be joined by members of the Fox Committee and Breckland councillors Ellen Jolly and the newly elected Marion Chapman-Allen.

Representatives from the Wellington Pub Company and Criterion Asset Management, which manages the site on WPC’s behalf, have also been invited to discuss the future of the ‘once thriving’ 18th century village pub.

The meeting will take place outside the pub at 6.30pm.

The Bury Free Press contacted Criterion Asset Management to see if property area manager Trevor Lunnon would be attending tonight’s meeting.

No-one was available for comment.