Pub gets backing for new project

PUB owners have been praised for an innovative £700,000 project to keep their village business vibrant.

PUB owners have been praised for an innovative £700,000 project to keep their village business vibrant.

Councillors at Suffolk Coastal District Council have unanimously approved plans for a redevelopment of the White Lion, a 15th Century pub in Lower Ufford, near Woodbridge.

Ivan Jowers, chairman of the development control sub committee, told owners Stephen and Gaynor Thurlow: ''I find this quite imaginative. We do get applications from people wanting to turn pubs into houses but here we have someone who is prepared to develop and I think it is our business as a council to support this.''

The pub will add a 28-cover restaurant, convert a hayloft into a one-bed holiday cottage, and erect a detached two-storey building with eight rooms for bed and breakfast.

Three rooms above the pub will be available for accommodation and when the redevelopment is finished there will be five full time jobs, a chef, a front of house manager and 12 part time staff.

Mr and Mrs Thurlow applied for permission because they wanted to evolve their business and bring in new customers to keep it sustainable.

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Mr Thurlow emphasised that the couple remained passionate about running the pub and they played a major role in the village community.

Ufford parish council supported the plans and there were no objections from consultees during the district council's consultation period although concerns were raised about visibility for motorists when leaving the pub.