Plan to build two new shops in Norwich Lanes revealed

Plans have been put forward for new commercial premises at the back of Paolo's Restaurant, owned by Paolo Duraj

Plans have been put forward for new commercial premises at the back of Paolo's Restaurant, owned by Paolo Duraj (pictured inset) - Credit: Archant/SD Studio Ltd

Derelict land languishing at the back of a popular city centre restaurant could be converted into swanky new business premises. 

Plans have been submitted to Norwich City Council proposing a new two-storey building in Upper Goat Lane behind Paolo's Restaurant. 

The applicant, Olga Babiichuk, intends to create two new commercial units in the building with the top floor being an office space, and the ground floor allocated for retail use.

Both units would be connected through an internal lobby and stairs. 

Artist impressions of what the new building would look like at the back of Paolo's Restaurant in Norwich

Artist impressions of what the new building would look like at the back of Paolo's Restaurant in Norwich - Credit: SD Studio Ltd

There is currently a derelict and partly vandalised garage at the site, which is where Paolo's Restaurant owner Paolo Duraj parks his car. 

Although the new building will not be connected to the restaurant if it is approved, Mr Duraj is still fully behind the idea.

He said: "I think it will look very smart. I've seen the drawings of the plans and they look beautiful.

Paolo's Pizzeria, 1 St James Street, Norwich, Paolo Duray. Photo: Colin Finch

Paolo Duraj - Credit: Colin Finch

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"It is a waste of space there at the moment. I park my car there but that is all it is good for. 

"It can generate business in the future and more people can be employed in the city centre so it can only be a good thing." 

A planning application notice could be seen on the gates for the land at the back of Paolo's Restaurant on Thursday 

A planning notice could be seen on the gates for the land at the back of Paolo's Restaurant on Thursday - Credit: Ben Hardy

The application, which falls within a conservation area, aims to increase the commercial and retail offering to Upper Goat Lane.

Chartered architect Spiros Defteraios, director of SD Studio which drew up the plans, said: "As this lane lacks business activity and vibe when compared with Lower Goat Lane, St Giles Street and other surrounding roads, we feel that every effort to provide new, small size commercial units will assist to address the lack of activity.

Spiros Defteraios, director of SD Studio Ltd

Spiros Defteraios, director of SD Studio Ltd - Credit: Contributed

"It will also provide small local businesses with the opportunity to occupy nicely designed spaces within the city centre’s secondary retail area." 

Comments on the city council planning portal suggest conditions need to be met for the proposed site.

The council's environmental protection service has queried the plans not showing any form of heating or air conditioning for the proposed building.

Paolo's Restaurant in Norwich 

Paolo's Restaurant in Norwich - Credit: Ben Hardy

And Norfolk Police has commented to say the applicant should embrace crime prevention and security measures.

This is because crime figures covering the site in the past 36 months show "incidences of criminal damage to buildings and several reports of pedal cycle thefts". 

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