Conversion of village pub is given approval

A closed Glemsford pub is to be turned into a bed and breakfast in a move that is expected to help other ailing pubs in the village and encourage tourism.

The Crown Inn is to be converted to provide three double bedrooms and a family suite for customers. Three holiday lets will also be created from the pub’s unused outbuildings.

Plans put forward by owners Ian and Amanda Braddick to change the use of the Grade II listed building on the corner of Brook Street and Chequers Lane were approved by Babergh District Council on Wednesday.

Rex Thake, a district councillor for the village, said he was pleased to support the couple’s proposals and believed the conversion would benefit remaining Glemsford pubs.

“Including the Crown, we have five pubs and a social club and many of the pubs are struggling,” he said.

“I wish the applicants every luck in what they are doing as it will be a significant investment.”

Mr Braddick and his wife took over the 17th-century pub in September 2011, but closed just 12 months later claiming the business could not continue due to a lack of trade. The pub was originally closed in 2009 by then owners Greene King.

Councillor Clive Arthey said it appeared the volume of pubs in the village had led to the difficulties.

“The closure of this pub may help the other four,” he said.

A number of letters of objection had been sent to the council regarding the plans, with concerns about the loss of the pub, lack of parking and the impact on the listed building.

There were also claims the owners had not given the business enough chance to succeed and only opened intermittently.

However, case officer John Davies said: “They will retain the building for economic use and it is an enterprise that should encourage tourism.”

Members voted unanimously to approve the plans.