A village pub which has been closed for nearly five years would be renovated if plans for new homes at the site get the go-ahead, developers say.
Community leaders in North Wootton fear the proposal for the House on the Green site in Ling Common Road could eventually see the pub lost altogether.
But borough planning officials have backed the scheme ahead of a committee meeting later this month.
The pub initially closed in late 2016, before briefly re-opening two years later.
Now, seven new homes are being proposed at the southern end of the site, together with retention and refurbishment of the pub itself.
West Norfolk Council officers have recommended that the plan is approved, subject to the completion of legal agreements, at a planning committee meeting on June 14.
And the developer, WW Properties (East Anglia) Ltd, says the scheme addresses two main concerns in the village.
Their case to the committee said: “We understand the need for starter homes, and we understand the desire to keep the building as a public house; this proposal can deliver both of those elements.”
But dozens of objections have been submitted, including representations from the village’s parish council, which fears the development of homes there may just be the start.
The authority said: “While the proposed retention of the pub would retain a valuable community asset, there is little evidence that the pub will reopen as it has been left to fall into disrepair and vandalism has been prevalent and left unchecked for over a year.
“It is a concern that if this application is granted a further application for more houses would be forthcoming for this part of the site.”
But the applicant said attempts had been made to stop damage to the building.
Planning officers have also called for a condition to be imposed requiring the developer to set out full details of its plans to renovate and promote the pub, before any would-be residents move into the proposed homes.
This news brought to you by the Lynn News, local and trusted, download the Lynn News app