December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 26, 2013
Plans to breathe new life into a shop which has stood empty for years have been withdrawn following objections that the proposed development was too large.
The planning application had asked Norwich City Council for permission to demolish the former Burrell’s ironmongers’ shop in Unthank Road, Norwich, and replace it with a new shop on the ground floor, with two storeys of flats above.
Burrell’s closed in 2008 and has been empty ever since, and Mark Webster, whose son Charlie runs Websters estate agents a couple of doors down the road, submitted plans to replace it.
Mark Wilson, the city council’s conservation officer, said the proposal was “unacceptable in design and conservation terms”.
He said: “The design is a drastic change to the existing character of the street and its height will have an impact on the skyline.”
Denise Carlo, Green city councillor for Nelson ward, also raised objections, saying it was too tall and would spoil “one of Norwich’s most charming and popular parades of independent shops”.
She welcomed the decision to withdraw the current application, which came shortly after the applicant asked for meeting with City Hall officials and local councillors to see what would be acceptable.
Paul Lucas, from Wymondham-based agents Lucas Hickman Smith, had previously said his client was keen to work with planners and the community to come up with a suitable scheme.
Ms Carlo said she hoped a new application would include a shop on the ground floor and one storey of flats and would use traditional materials. She added that local people she had talked to hoped the shop unit could house an ironmonger.
She said: “We welcome the applicant’s reaction and I think everyone wants to work together to bring the shop building back into life if it can be retained.
“Unthank Road shops are popular and create a lovely atmosphere for the residential area. I think Burrell’s was an important part of the community for a long time, and so to see the shop standing empty is sad and people would like to see the shop brought back into life.”