Historic pub seeking new licence despite neighbour concerns

The Bull in Fakenham has closed again. Picture: Ian Burt

The Bull in Fakenham has closed again. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

An administrative error after a pub landlord went bankrupt has forced a new licensing application - but neighbours have raised about anti-social behaviour and noise. 

The Bull, a historic market town pub in Fakenham believed to date back to 1837, closed in January 2019, after the landlord went bankrupt.

An administrative error by the owner, the Wellington Pub Company, meant it failed to transfer the licence to someone new and must get a new one.

Ahead of a North Norfolk District Council licensing committee meeting on Monday, three letters were submitted to the council with fears over the Bull's reopening.

Tim Armitage, director of Woodspring House care home, said: "The Bull is approximately seven metres from the nearest bedrooms in our residential care home and as such I read the licence application for late-night drinking and music with horror.

"It would be very detrimental to the quality of life for virtually anyone to have this right outside their bedroom but many of our clients have dementia and they live in the moment."

Mr Armitage added it would be "intolerable" if it was used as a place for people to go after other pubs closed and could cause sleep deprivation and mental health issues for residents. 

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Other residents raised similar concerns, with Richard Lynam saying he was already experiencing issues with other pubs and he has started closing his gates at night to avoid "public urination or vomiting" on his land. 

Alex Green, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said it had struggled to find a new tenant due to the lack of an alcohol licence. 

He said there were several misconceptions and the applicants wanted to reduce the hours from their previous licence - which allowed for 24-hour service.

He stressed there had been no issues with the previous licence, it was not revoked and there had been no issues or complaints.

Asked if the residential home had issues with the Bull before it closed, Mr Armitage told the committee it had not but was concerned the pub would try to draw in more drinkers with late-night music. 

Pierre Butikofer, chair of the committee, told Mr Armitage that if the licence was granted he was able to complain to the council if there are any issues.

A decision will be made by the committee in writing within five days.