The battle for a prominent city centre shop has stepped up a gear.

A designer fashion store has seen its application to open in Norwich's branch of Dr Martens approved by the city council - despite the shoe giant claiming it has no plans to leave.

Norwich Evening News: The Dr Martens store in Castle StreetThe Dr Martens store in Castle Street (Image: Newsquest)

Women's fashion chain Mint Velvet is hoping to open in the Castle Street store currently occupied by Dr Martens. 

But staff at the shoe shop have told this newspaper they were unaware of the plans and the company itself has previously said it would not be closing. 

A Dr Martens spokesman said in September that they had received no contact from Mint Velvet or the city council and had no plans to move or close.

When contacted for an update, both Dr Martens and Mint Velvet declined to comment.

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Application documents state that Mint Velvet has obtained permission from the building's owner to display its branding at the site.

Norwich City Council has now also given the retailer the green light to "refurnish and rebrand" the store with a refurbished interior and exterior in the brand's style.

Norwich Evening News: Mint Velvet has about 50 standalone stores in the UKMint Velvet has about 50 standalone stores in the UK (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesman for the authority explained: "Mint Velvet does not need permission from the council to start trading from the premises because it is already a shop and there would be no change of use.

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"There is no requirement for the council to contact Dr Martens about this."

Mint Velvet was founded in 2009 and markets its style as "relaxed glamour". 

The retailer currently has a concession in Jarrolds and has about 50 standalone stores in the UK, including in Cambridge and Colchester, but announced plans in June to open six new outlets this year.

When it opened in 2013, Dr Martens' Norwich store became the UK's largest, employing eight people at the time.