Five star spa and new restaurant mooted in 'landmark' Norwich leisure scheme
PUBLISHED: 07:30 26 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:47 27 November 2017
A 'landmark' leisure scheme, including a spa, restaurant and boutique hotel could be built where Norwich bus station's former ticket office once stood.
Plans have been lodged with Norwich City Council for the Surrey Street scheme, which would also include a cafe and a penthouse apartment. It could create up to 50 jobs.
Dennis Bacon, who also owns 38 St Giles boutique bed and breakfast, has bought the site with permission for a shop, offices and apartments, but has asked for the fresh permission because he believes he can bring something new to the city.
He said: “It strikes me that Norwich doesn’t have that many boutique hotels. We get a lot of demand and we cannot always meet that demand.
“So I looked at the building and thought ‘what else is Norwich lacking?’ and decided that it needs a five star spa. I don’t think there’s anything like that in the city or in Cambridge for that matter.”
Mr Bacon said the spa would be on the first floor, two floors of hotel accommodation and an apartment at fourth floor level, with a restaurant and cafe at ground floor level.
He said: “It just seemed to me, that rather than try a development of apartments, I would look at something different. I think we are reaching saturation point when it comes to student accommodation in the city centre and I wanted to create something remarkable.
“I want it to be something that serves the local community, but also brings people in from outside the city.”
Mr Bacon said he hopes to link up with City College Norwich for students to get employment and training opportunities in the new scheme, which he said would be a ‘landmark’ development.
The former ticket office, in the Art Deco style, was built in the 1930s, but was knocked down in the 2000s. Mr Bacon’s Norwich-based architects Hudson Architects intend the new building to reflect the curved frontage of the former ticket office and to have “sufficient scale and civic presence.”
The city council will make a decision on whether to grant permission in due course, with Mr Bacon hoping he could get approval in January.
He said work could then start in the spring. He said construction would take about a year, so the development could open in 2019.