Enforcement action to be taken at Norwich pub

Enforcement action is to be taken at a Norwich pub after part of it was converted into flats without planning permission.

Enterprise Inns, which owns the Prince of Denmark, had been seeking retrospective planning permission from Norwich City Council for part of the Sprowston Road pub to be used as a house of multiple occupancy.

The work has already been done and people are living in the flats, but permission had not been obtained and at a meeting yesterday councillors refused to grant it.

The planning committee meeting at City Hall heard how officers had 'significant concern' the rooms could be affected by 'high levels of noise disturbance from the public house use on the ground-floor of the building'.

The council's private sector housing team had also assessed one of the flats as being below the space standard required for a room containing cooking facilities.

Officers were also concerned the shared kitchen and bathroom were only acceptable for up to five people sharing, yet there was potential for up to seven people to live there.

They also raised concerns over a lack of amenity space and a lack of secure, covered cycle parking.

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Planning officer Caroline Dodden said: 'We do feel that it is almost impossible for the applicant to be able to create suitable alternative accomodation on the first floor.

'That is why we have not looked to negotiate this scheme and have come to the conclusion we have.'

Councillors unanimously agreed with that conclusion, turning down planning permission and authorising officers to take enforcement action to stop the flats being lived in.

There will be a six-month compliance period for the enforcement notice, so the people living in the flats have a 'reasonable and appropriate time' in which to find somewhere else to live.

The meeting heard that owners Enterprise Inns had agreed not to contest the recommendation.

• Do you have a story about a local pub? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk