Greene King reassures residents it is ‘keen’ to re-open The Flying Fortress pub in Bury St Edmunds as soon as possible
A dilapidated empty Bury St Edmunds pub purchased by Greene King five years ago could re-open following a ‘significant investment’ it was confirmed this week.
The Flying Fortress pub, in Mount Road, has been boarded up following its closure in April 2014, with no sign of it opening its doors to the public again.
But on Wednesday the brewing giant said its intention had always been to re-open the pub and this ‘continues to be the case’.
A spokesperson said: “Given the ongoing development work in the area around the pub this has not been practical up until this point, however we can reassure the Moreton Hall community that we remain in discussions with the planning authority and housing developer as we are keen to make this happen as soon as possible.”
Moreton Hall ward councillors on West Suffolk Council, while welcoming the news, questioned why Greene King had waited so long to do anything with the site.
Cllr Trevor Beckwith said a re-opened Flying Fortress could be another valuable facility for the growing estate.
“Five hundred houses are being built up there so it would be handy for people who live up there. The Ember Inns is quite a walk from that part of the estate,” he said.
“People have been asking us councillors for a long time what’s happening with the Flying Fortress and the answer has always been ‘we don’t know’.
“Greene King boarded it up and left it – it doesn’t look ideal when there are houses being built around it and I don’t know why they’ve held on to it for so long without doing anything.”
Cllr Peter Thompson said he would welcome the pub re-opening, because it could help to keep more people on the community rather than travelling elsewhere for a meal or drink.
“It would be good for the community to have another place to meet on the estate.
“When it was still open it was very well used and everyone I have spoken to has expressed some sort of desire for it to open.
“But Greene King don’t seem to be very proud of their home town. They should either do the work and open it, or sell it. It’s been years they’ve been talking about it now and they are still being a bit vague.”
Cllr Thompson added that he hoped competition from another pub on the estate might encourage investment in some areas of the existing Ember Inns, in Lawson Place, which were beginning to show their age.
Cllr Frank Warby said the disused Flying Fortress was starting to look dilapidated and ‘should be pulled down’.
“I’ve asked Greene King about this for years and every time they give me the same reply – that they intend to re-open the Flying Fortress.
“Absolutely, it would be well used if it opened again as it is a long walk from the new houses up there to the other pub. But it needs to be sorted pretty soon. Greene King needs to do something with it.”