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New hope for isolated Broads pub Berney Arms

PUBLISHED: 07:53 22 October 2015 | UPDATED: 07:53 22 October 2015

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs.

Picture: James Bass

The Berney Arms pub, one of Norfolk's most isolated pubs. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

An isolated Broads pub could be saved if community groups want to buy it.

The Berney Arms, one of the country’s most remote drinking spots, had become unprofitable, with an unsuccessful bid made last month to convert it into a house.

Now a campaign group has won the right to make the pub listed as a special community building, allowing locals to bid for its ownership.

The Norwich and Norfolk Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) submitted an application to Broadland District Council to make it an asset of community value.

If locals show an interest in the pub, the status then essentially protects it from sale for six months.

Camra vice-chairman Martin Ward, 56, said: “Our campaign goal this year is to increase the number of assets of community value. The Berney Arms is an important Broadland pub and a stop-off point for people on the river.

“It doesn’t have a very big local community… but it doesn’t mean we should not support it. This is a fresh start and could give it a second lease of life.”

The application to list the building has been accepted by the authority, but owner Raymond Hollocks, who has previously said falling turnover and decreased river traffic has forced him to look at other options for the business, has objected and will appeal.

Earlier this year, his planning application to change it into a house was turned down by Broads Authority members after a strong reaction from the local community.

The pub has been open this season, and remains open, after mum-of-one and first-time landlady Tracey Schuurman took over the management there.

Set on the River Yare overlooking Breydon Water, it is only accessible by boat, train or a five-mile trek across the marshes, and has been in the hands of several owners.

Communities who want to buy the Berney Arms have until November 25 to express an interest and then six months to put together a bid to buy it.

To put in a bid contact Malcolm Black at democratic services on 01603 430532 or email malcolm.black@broadland.gov.uk

Do you have a Broads story? Call reporter Rosa McMahon on 01603 772453.

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