Housing to be put on empty pub site

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A DERELICT pub that has been without tenants for two and a half years is to be turned into housing after planning permission was granted.

The Half Moon, in High Street, Lakenheath, will be converted into a single house and four further houses will be built on the pub’s half acre site.

Forest Heath District Council’s approval of the application on July 8 leaves Lakenheath with just two designated pubs and only one which is open for business.

Elaine Beckett, spokeswoman for Greene King, confirmed that the redevelopment would be going ahead due to little interest being shown in the pub, which closed in 2009.

She said: “The Half Moon in Lakenheath will be sold for redevelopment as houses following the pub being closed for over two and a half years.

“Greene King was unable to recruit a licensee who would be able to take the business forward and make a living from it.”

The new development will see the Half Moon converted into a four bedroom house. The four new builds will all be three bedroom and 11 parking spaces will be available.

No objections to the plans were raised by Lakenheath Parish Council, with only one objection from a resident.

The Plough, in Mill Road, closed earlier this year. Although business at the Royal British Legion is strong, the Brewers Tap is the village’s only remaining public house.

Lynette Cowper, landlady at The Brewers Tap, said that when she and husband Ron took over their pub’s tenancy 14 years ago there were four pubs operating in the town.

“I think it’s a financial thing, people are just buying cans and drinking them at home rather than coming out to the pub.

“We’re not picking up a lot of extra custom since The Plough closed, so people are just staying in.

“A lot of younger people will go to Bury or Newmarket on a Friday and Saturday night and in the week it’s quiet,” she said.