Plan to reopen Northumberland pub and hotel receives boost after renovation works approved

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Renovation plans that could lead to the reopening of north Northumberland hotel have been approved.

George Straughen plans to revamp the Victoria Hotel in Norham – which was once owned by his grandparents.

His application seeking permission to carry out alterations on the Castle Street property has been given the green light by Northumberland County Council.

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Planning officers took the decision despite concerns from the council’s conservation officer that ‘elements of the proposal fail to preserve the special interest of the Grade II listed inn’.

The Victoria Hotel in Norham.The Victoria Hotel in Norham.
The Victoria Hotel in Norham.

Hannah Nilsson, planning officer, reported: ‘The building is currently in a poor state of repair and to such an extent that it is not currently wind and weather tight and consequently the fabric of the building is currently at risk of decline.

"It is therefore considered that the public benefit of bringing the building back into use, and the fact that this will be as a hotel and public house which was its original use, together with the retention of this as a local community asset and jobs opportunities and tourism benefits would outweigh the identified harm.’

The plans include an upgrade of the toilet facilities, provision of a means of escape at ground floor level for first floor hotel bedrooms and associated external works.

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Patrons would also be able to access the first floor bedrooms without having to go through the bar, while it would create access to the hotel from North Lane and from the car parking area at the rear.

The area has already lost the nearby Salutation Inn and the Fishers Arms at Horncliffe.

The scheme has been welcomed by Norham Parish Council.

Clerk Victoria Craig, in a letter from the parish council, said: ‘The Victoria Hotel has been on the market for some years and there was concern that it would remain empty for many more until it was purchased by Mr Straughen.

‘The plans for the building will hopefully ensure that it will remain a public house/hotel, with cafe facilities. It will also provide some much-needed accommodation for visitors to the village and, in due course, it will also hopefully provide some employment.’