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It’s all quiet for North Walsham pub plans

Ssshh, there are plans for a new micropub in North Walsham.

The concept for the former taxi office at 2 Market Place shuns all forms of electronic entertainment with the idea to “keep it simple”.

The application to North Norfolk District Council is for a change of use of the empty building to drinking establishment.

The micropub will sell cask ale on gravity from the barrel, also real cider and limited bottled beer, mostly speciality foreign beers, plus serve traditional pub snacks.

There will be no TV, fruit machines or recorded music and as such little noise, other than conversation. The plan is to steer clear of lager and alcopops and also not brew beer on site.

The application sates: “The Market Street Tap will be a throwback to the traditional ale houses of the mid-19th century. It will be a single room micropub with limited space (room for approximately 25-30 people) and limited opening hours.”

The business will be based primarily on three core themes – local cask ales served straight from cask to glass; traditional snacks such as pork pies, scotch eggs, crisps and cheeses sourced from local artisan businesses; conversation between locals and tourists alike.

It is not intended that there will be any structural changes to the property, inside or out, other than hanging pictures on the walls

The application says: “A micropub is a small freehouse which listens to its customers, mainly serves cask ales and promotes the art of conversation.”

The first micropub opened in 2005 in Herne Bay, Kent and since then the concept has gone from strength to strength.

There are currently more than 280 micropubs listed with the Micropub Association and news of further openings continues to buck the recent trend of pub closures.

Making way for Wetherspoons in North Walsham

North Norfolk District Council is soon expected to be in a position to be able to offer J D Wetherspoons freehold vacant possession of the council offices in New Road, North Walsham.

The agreement to sell the listed property to the award-winning pub chain has been dependent on North Norfolk District Council finding alternative premises for North Walsham Town Council. NNDC also wanted to ensure it supported Citizen’s Advice Bureau and North Norfolk Community Transport in finding alternative premises.

This has now been achieved with the town council about to move into the Register Office in King’s Arms Street on a 10-year lease. In order to ensure these premises are fit for purpose for both the Town Council and registrars, NNDC is proposing to provide a kitchen and second toilet for the building.

The Citizens Advice Bureau will be moving to a unit in St Nicholas’s Precinct and North Norfolk Community Transport has already moved to the North Walsham Industrial Estate.

Tom FitzPatrick Leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “We are very pleased to be close to being able to offer freehold vacant possession allowing Wetherspoons to move forward with its proposals for a pub-restaurant in the town, subject to planning and licensing consents.

“Attracting new jobs and improving the facilities in North Walsham is a major priority for the district council.

“The process of identifying suitable new premises for the organisations working within the New Road building has taken more time than anticipated but we are pleased each now has a new home.”

It is expected the £1.6m investment proposals can now be progressed with the purchase of the New Road property by J D Wetherspoons and application for planning permission to convert the building into a pub.

Twon clerk Nick Clancy said: “We will be moving beginning on Tuesday, September 6, and possibly not completely vacating the New Road offices until the end of that week. The contact telephone number will be unchanged – 01692 404114 – as will the email address.

“You may be unable to contact us by phone on September 6, at least until we have the system running properly, but we intend to at least have a skeleton office up and running on the first day of the move. Please bear with us during this period; we will respond as soon as we are able to.”