Plans for historic Bungay hotel rejected by town council

The King's Head in Bungay.

The King's Head in Bungay. - Credit: Archant © 2009

Bungay town councillors have voted against plans to convert a historic coaching inn in the centre of the town into an apart hotel.

The application to redevelop The Kings Head Hotel was discussed by councillors on Monday night, and was recommended for refusal.

The plans include turning the main building into an apart hotel - a hotel which provides self-catering apartments as well as ordinary hotel facilities - with ground floor retail/office space and converting the function rooms and buildings to the rear into three homes.

Olly Barnes, mayor of Bungay said: “We are not happy with the style of the hotel and we want more for Bungay.

“We don’t feel it is the right development in that place. We need a hotel that is more traditional.

“There are going to be six independent apartments with their own cooking facilities and no bar or communal area downstairs. We want something that is a bit more welcoming.

“We’ve also got concerns about parking because there are going to be three properties at the back which need two parking spaces each, along with parking for the hotel and business units.

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“And we feel losing the ballroom and function room at the back of the building would be a big loss for Bungay.

“We don’t want the plan approved just because it is the first one. We know the hotel is an eyesore but we feel that something better will come along.”

The former coaching inn has 13 en-suite letting bedrooms, two function rooms, a residents’ lounge, restaurant, lounge bar and a large car park. It dates from the 16th century but like other prominent buildings in the centre of Bungay was destroyed in the town’s great fire of March in 1688.

It is thought to have closed two or three years ago and The Journal reported last May that it had been sold through hotel and leisure specialists Fleurets for a freehold asking price of £349,500.

Terry Reeve, chairman of the Bungay Society, said the application had also been discussed by the society’s executive committee.

He said: “We were disappointed that it could not continue to be a traditional hotel with many bed and breakfast rooms, as previously, but it was felt it was a reasonable compromise to save the dilapidated town centre building.

“Our secretary was asked to inform Waveney District Council that we hoped the hanging Kings Head sign would be kept and the right of way through to the flight of steps to the Castle Keep would be maintained, as they are used as a fire escape during castle events.”

The application will now be considered by Waveney District Council.

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