Fresh plans for rooftop bar on St Stephens

Estateducation and JaeVee have purchased a building in Westlegate for co-living flats

Estateducation and JaeVee have purchased a building in Westlegate for co-living flats - Credit: Estateducation/JaeVee

A planning agent believes a former pub which has stood vacant for years can be an "asset for the city centre". 

Planning documents for a new rooftop bar and restaurant at the historic Boar's Head on the corner of St Stephens Street and Surrey Street will be uploaded onto the city council's planning portal later this month. 

JaeVee purchased the site at the start of 2021, and has now submitted modified plans showing it has a view to creating a two-storey extension.

The site will house 13 multiple occupancy units as well as a rooftop bar and alterations to the external façade. 

Thomas Wheatley of Parker Planning Services, who is the agent for the application, said the site will still be residential under the new plans with the ground floor being used as a retail unit.

Mr Wheatley said: "We really want to get something in there as it has been empty for a while. It would be wonderful to get an asset back into the city centre.

"We are now submitting one big application rather than the three we had previously to make it easier."

Mr Wheatley said the two-storey extension would be similar to the plans for flats at Westlegate which were approved in August 2018. 

The former Boar's Head pub stood at the corner of St Stephens Street from 1456 until it was bombed in April 1942. 

The changing face of St Stephens at the busy corner with Surrey Street in Norwich. Photos: Archant L

The changing face of St Stephens at the busy corner with Surrey Street in Norwich. Photos: Archant Library. - Credit: Archant Library

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As a result, the site stood derelict for a decade before pints were served again as the pub became the Windmill, the Continental, the Surrey Lounge and then finally Barbarella's for a few years until time was called in 1974. 

The changing face of St Stephens at the busy corner with Surrey Street in Norwich. Photo: Archant Li

The changing face of St Stephens at the busy corner with Surrey Street in Norwich. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

The plans come as independent businesses in St Stephens Street have called for empty retail units to be filled to attract more people to the street, which is set to undergo a £6.1m revamp in January to include new bus bays, shelters and pedestrianisation. 

Simon Knights, manager of Mr Shoes on St Stephens, said: "No one likes going into a city or town centre and seeing empty units.

"All these revamp plans are great as long as all the buildings have retailers inside. That would help out everyone." 

Simon Knights, manager of Mr Shoes in St Stephens Street 

Simon Knights, manager of Mr Shoes in St Stephens Street - Credit: Ben Hardy

Norwich City Council will consider the Boar's Head plans in due course.

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