Hotel expansion could see celebrity chef land first city restaurant

Marco Pierre White could open a new restaurant on top of a Norwich hotel

Marco Pierre White could open a new restaurant on top of a Norwich hotel - Credit: Adam Fradgley: Exposure Photography

Plans to expand a city hotel could see a top celebrity chef opening his first restaurant in Norwich.

A fresh bid to extend the Norwich Hotel in Thorpe Road has been lodged with the city council, after a previous application was rejected earlier this year.

And part of the project will see a rooftop restaurant added to the site - which has been earmarked to become part of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White's portfolio.

The polling station at the Norwich Hotel on Thorpe Road, May 2019. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The Norwich Hotel on Thorpe Road, which could be expanded PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Papers submitted with the application say: "The proposal would provide a very high quality hotel and 'celebrity' restaurant, providing a place to come to in Norwich and a higher level of hotel accommodation than what is on offer.

"Marco Pierre White is a highly regarded celebrity chef and provides training and jobs to those that wish to aspire to be award-winning chefs, as well as those wishing to work in the hospitality sector.

"Marco is highly selective in terms of where he will have a restaurant and it can only be of the highest standards - his restaurants attract all types of customers."

Mr White currently has 30 restaurants across Britain under different guises, but should the plans ago ahead, this will be his first in Norwich.

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And between the restaurant and the extended hotel, some 40 new jobs would be created in the city.

However, previous efforts to extend the hotel were refused by the city council in February, with planners ruling that the proposed extension would overshadow nearby apartment block Tibenham House.

The original application attracted opposition from civic watchdog the Norwich Society, which argued it would be "uncharacteristic" of the area.

Refusing the bid, case officer Lara Emerson wrote: "The rear extension, by virtue of its scale, positioning on the site and proximity to site boundaries would cause unacceptable impacts upon the light and overlook afforded to residents at Tibenham House and 118 Thorpe Road."

However, in the amended application, the rear extension has been re-positioned closer to the building to reduce this impact.

The extension would see an additional 17 rooms added to the hotel - and aims to upgrade its status to four stars.

Norwich City Council will consider the application in due course.