Multi-million pound city hotel plans get backing, but also opposition

Tesco Metro on Guildhall Hill, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The new Norwich hotel, if granted permission, would be above Tesco Metro in Guildhall Hill. - Credit: Archant

Plans for a multi-million pound hotel in Norwich have been backed by the city's civic watchdog, but questioned by a competitor.

The planning application for the hotel, in Chamberlain House, in Guildhall Hill, was lodged with Norwich City Council last month.

Plans for Chamberlain House in Norwich

Plans for the hotel at Chamberlain House, as viewed from Pottergate. - Credit: AWW

And the proposals from property consultants Ward Hill Walker for the 91-bedroom hotel - above and behind Tesco Metro - have been welcomed by The Norwich Society.

The plans for the Victorian building would see empty offices  turned into hotel rooms, with an extension where the superstore's loading yard is.

The Tesco store would remain, as would shops in Dove Street, while new retail units would be created at the back.

Public consultation is under way and Jon Boon, chairman of the Norwich Society's planning appraisal committee, has submitted the group's response.

He said: "The general approach is very good and seems to cover all the heritage aspects.

"The design blends in well with the streetscape, and we particularly like the proposed glazed bricks with their reference to the Royal Arcade.

"There is certainly a need for a quality hotel in Norwich city centre, and this one appears to have good accommodation for families as well as couples/singles."

Hotel plans for Chamberlain House in Norwich

Plans for the new hotel, which would include a new retail unit in Pottergate. - Credit: AWW

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Developers say the scheme would bring thousands of visitors and create 28 jobs.

However, traders in Norwich Lanes have already raised concerns about the scheme and two objections have, so far, been submitted.

While the council does not make the names of objectors public, one appears to be from the owner of another city hotel.

They said: "We accept that competition is a reality of operating a commercial business, but we also seek for the council to adhere to their own policy to protect the interests of existing business owners by ensuring that there is balanced, sustainable economic growth."

They said if student accommodation was proposed, a study of whether it was needed would be done, but there is nothing comparable to assess if another hotel is required.

They said: "We would question why the city council do not seek assurance from the applicant that there is a genuine need for this type of hotel provision in the city centre."