A former pub is to be turned into a café and flat after planners approved proposals for the city centre site - despite calls for it to be kept as a boozer. 

Planning permission has been granted for The Surrey Kitchen and Bar venue in Surrey Street to change the use from a pub to a café and convert the first floor into a flat. 

It used to trade as the Surrey Tavern from 1851 until 2016, before the business changed into The Surrey Kitchen and Bar, which is currently closed, around January 2018. 

Norwich Evening News:

Richard Dixon, pub protection officer for Norwich and District branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), opposed the plans. 

He said: "Pubs merit protection for their value as heritage and community assets, whether designated or undesignated.  

"Having been deemed by the city council as being a community asset it would certainly be seen as going against the council's own policy should the plans be approved. 

"Pubs can provide so much more than just being a drinking establishment, pubs are a hub for the community where people can meet and socialise with others."

READ MORE: City bar looking to open new shop selling bottled cocktails 

The pub had not been on the council’s local list of community assets since 2021 and the permission claims there are enough pubs within walking distance of the site. 

Case officer Stephen Polley used delegated powers to approve the plans

The report states that "the business has primarily operated as a café and as such has not opened beyond daytime trading hours in any such significant way". 

Norwich Evening News: The Surrey Tavern which closed in 2016

It added: "The applicant has stated that this is partly due to the demand within the area for a public house to be low. 

"The local trade from offices accounted for a significant portion of the passing trade of the public house." 

Since the large Aviva offices were sold in the area, trade for the pub had reduced.