Former Norwich pub set to become a food store

Sarah HallA fresh attempt will be made this week to secure permission for a food store on the site of a Norwich pub - and council officers are recommending the scheme gets the go-ahead.Sarah Hall

A fresh attempt will be made this week to secure permission for a food store on the site of a Norwich pub - and council officers are recommending the scheme gets the go-ahead.

Plans to build a single-storey store on the site of the Romany pub, in Colman Road, were turned down in January when city councillors went against officer advice and voted against it.

Councillors claimed the food store would create dangerous traffic conditions as customers and delivery vans came in and out of the car park using an existing service road on to Colman Road and The Avenues.

They also argued the new building would not fit in visually with the old pub, which has been closed for more than a year, but developers Commercial Development Projects are trying again with a revised proposal.

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The new plans still include the demolition of the pub's garage and toilet block to build a convenience store with 400sqm of retail space.

But the plans also involve an alternative arrangement for servicing behind the proposed store, and a revised car park layout.

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A decision on those plans will be made when the city council's planning committee meets on Thursday, with officers are recommending approval.

Bert Bremner, Labour city councillor for University ward, said: 'I believe the developers have designed a building more in keeping with those in the area, which is a positive move.

'The proposed car park will be a help to the shops at present on the Bunnett Square parades, especially those on the odd number side.

'Unfortunately I still feel I have to object to this application because safety and noise problems caused by the delivery, the two way access to the car park, the use of the service road as a rat-run, and security in the car park in the evenings has not been addressed.'

Four people have written to the council to oppose the plans, while two people living nearby wrote to City Hall to back the scheme.

Edward Ledwidge, spokesman for the developers Commercial Development Projects, said when the new bid was submitted last month: 'The revised application we have submitted has addressed the reasons for refusal by providing a dedicated service area and an improved design treatment. We are hoping this time it goes ahead.'

The Romany pub has been boarded-up and closed since it was raided by police on November 7, 2008 and one of its customers was stunned by a police taser gun.

Developers have said it could yet reopen as a pub or it could be used, without planning permission being needed, as a shop, for financial and professional services or as a restaurant.

The Evening News' Love Your Local campaign encourages people to use their pubs or risk losing them for good.

To see previous stories from the Love Your Local campaign log on to

Do you have a story about your local pub? Call Evening News reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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