A luxury coffee and hot chocolate chain has pulled out of plans to open a branch in the city.

At the start of April, Knoops Chocolate lodged plans with Norwich City Council to open a new store at 21 Haymarket, the former home of Harris and James.

The coffee shop and ice cream business closed back in January due to a decline in sales and the store has remained empty ever since. 

Norwich Evening News: A Knoops store was planned for the siteA Knoops store was planned for the site (Image: Knoops via Norwich City Council)

There were hopes that Knoops, a hit cafe chain specialising in hot chocolate, milkshakes, iced chocolate and coffee, would be taking over the site.

However, these hopes have been dashed as the planning application has been withdrawn. 

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Mystery surrounds the decision, with no objections lodged against the store's opening.

Norwich Evening News: Harris and James closed in JanuaryHarris and James closed in January (Image: Newsquest)

A spokeswoman for the company said: "Unfortunately Knoops have withdrawn their planning application but are hoping to find the perfect site in Norwich soon."

Knoops Chocolate was founded in 2013 by Jens Knoop, who opened the first Knoops cafe in Rye in East Sussex.

Since then, the company has grown to include 18 sites around the UK, the closest of which is in Cambridge.