Norwich pub’s flats switch could land owners in hot water

The owners of a Norwich pub could be in hot water after part of the building was turned into a shared house – without planning permission.

Enterprise Inns, which owns the Prince of Denmark, is 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, so the pub company is hoping the planning committee will approve it.

But City Hall officers are recommending that councillors, who meet on Thursday, turn down the application.

In their report, officers say there is 'significant concern' rooms can 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 has 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.

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

Officers want councillors to turn down permission and to authorise enforcement action to stop it being used as a house of multiple occupancy.

They added that such enforcement could include 'the taking of all required legal proceedings, including prosecution if necessary'.

Officers said, if councillors do turn down permission, a six-month compliance period for the enforcement notice should be recommended, so people currently living in the flats can find somewhere else to live.

A spokeswoman for Enterprise Inns said: 'The publican at the Prince of Denmark is liaising with the relevant authority to find a suitable solution.'

Do you have a story about a local pub? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email