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Pub to enhance dining experience in expansion project

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 November 2019

The Turks Head, in Hasketon Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Turks Head, in Hasketon Picture: GREGG BROWN

A multi-award winning Suffolk pub is set to expand - and add bedrooms for guests to boost tourism in the county.

How the new extensions at the Turks Head wil look Picture: PATRICK ALLEN & ASSOCIATES LTDHow the new extensions at the Turks Head wil look Picture: PATRICK ALLEN & ASSOCIATES LTD

In the past four years, The Turks Head has been transformed from a closed down pub into a thriving business and community hub.

But for the pub in Low Road, Hasketon, to continue its success it needs to expand again and now plans have been drawn up for its future.

The idea is to add a new rear extension featuring a flexible dining room and function space, improve the kitchen facilities, and build a single-storey building in the grounds with eight letting rooms.

The enterprise is expected to create six new jobs from the outset.

How the new accommodation at the Turks Head could look and the existing barn Picture: PATRICK ALLEN & ASSOCIATES LTDHow the new accommodation at the Turks Head could look and the existing barn Picture: PATRICK ALLEN & ASSOCIATES LTD

The Turks Head, a grade II listed former farmhouse dating from the 17th century which has kept its pub name since 1802, has been named best pub in Suffolk twice in the past three years, best family pub in the county and has awards for customer service.

What is proposed?

Plans submitted to East Suffolk Council show the new letting rooms would be designed around the idea of a converted stable-yard to reflect the structures which might have been present when it was a farmhouse with its adjoining barn and out-buildings.

They have been designed with families, couples and business travellers in mind. There are two larger rooms which might suit honeymoon couples and two pairs of adjoining rooms which would be attractive to families.

Why is the expansion needed?

The extra dining space will provide much-needed additional space at peak times, and more flexibility in how the pub runs - with the new dining area able to be used or hired separately to the main dining area for conferences, parties and so on.

A report submitted to planners on the behalf of the pub owners said: "The additional dining facilities will therefore enable the business to promote itself as a location for business meetings. There are many medium to large businesses operating in the area who regularly seek external facilities such as this for off-site meetings, conferences or training.

"At present the business cannot cater for these elements and the proposed dining room addition would therefore provide the opportunity to expand and diversify the business.

"Local businesses such as BT, EDF and Sizewell also often require temporary accommodation for staff, and this is another area that the business would like to diversify into.

"The owners would like to offer 'stay and dine' packages as an additional diversification element. The letting rooms would be ideal for this purpose and would add to the district's tourism offer thereby contributing to its economic well-being."

Community hub

The Turks Head has an important role in the community and is a venue for a number of activities, including Meet-Up Mondays to help combat loneliness and allow people an opportunity to start the week with company and make new friends.

The pub also caters for the monthly Village Lunch run by the church, while the Knitting Group meets in the pub, which is also home to a local Petanque team.

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