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Village is launching it own pub nights

PUBLISHED: 17:55 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:23 01 August 2010

A RURAL community left high and dry when the only pub closed five months ago is fighting back by launching its own pub nights.

The King's Head at Pulham St Mary has been the focus of controversy ever since the owner and landlord, Graham Scott, unveiled plans in 2006 to downsize the pub and convert part of the property into housing.

A RURAL community left high and dry when the only pub closed five months ago is fighting back by launching its own pub nights.

The King's Head at Pulham St Mary has been the focus of controversy ever since the owner and landlord, Graham Scott, unveiled plans in 2006 to downsize the pub and convert part of the property into housing.

A number of schemes have been submitted to South Norfolk Council, three of which were the subject of a planning inquiry in December after Mr Scott appealed to the secretary of state over the authority's refusal of consent. All have been dismissed, and two earlier appeals were also rejected.

Mr Scott, who closed the pub for maintenance work just before Christmas, insists that redevelopment is necessary to enable him to upgrade the kitchen and other facilities at the property. But local objectors refute his claim that the business is not viable in its present form.

With no apparent signs of the pub reopening, residents who are raising money for the £1m-plus restoration of the historic Pennoyers school - opposite the King's Head - have stepped into the breach.

Spokesman Kerri Worral said: “The village has lost its focal point, so we have decided to run our own pub nights in the village hall. It's not just about fundraising; it's about giving the community somewhere people can go and have a chat.

“We have got a special licence and will be selling beer and wine, and the first pub night will be from 7.30pm till 11pm on Saturday, May 17.

“It will be like going into a normal pub, but we are going to ask for donations at the door for the Pennoyers Restoration Fund. My husband Nick is providing the entertainment by playing his guitar and debuting his new album.

“If it is a success and quite a lot of people turn out, we are going to make it a monthly thing.”

Mr Scott could not be contacted to comment.

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