Neighbourhood bemused after garage turned into barber shop

A new barber's shop has been proposed for Thorpe St Andrew. Pictured inset is county councillor Ian Mackie 

A new barber's shop has been proposed for Thorpe St Andrew. Pictured inset is county councillor Ian Mackie - Credit: Archant

A family garage has been converted into a barber shop on the outskirts of Norwich.

Broadland District Council has received a retrospective planning application to convert the salon from a garage at a home in Thorpe St Andrew's Thunder Lane. 

The applicant Graeme Malcolm, 52, who lives at the property, said the proposed business was in response to his 21-year-old son Callum being made redundant from his hairdressing job in the city.

An application has been submitted for a barber's shop in Thunder Lane

An application has been submitted for a barber's shop in Thunder Lane - Credit: Ben Hardy

If approved by the council, Callum's salon would cater for mostly men and children.

He also wants to provide haircuts for children with learning difficulties and autism.

Mr Malcolm said: "The garage used to be for my motorbike and it can't be seen from the road. 

"The neighbours were fine with the plans and there is plenty of parking space in our driveway for customers.

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"Nothing would be changed with regards to the boundary of the property." 

The home in Thunder Lane where the barber's shop will be located 

The home in Thunder Lane where the barber's shop will be located - Credit: Ben Hardy

The salon is called The Garage with a customer toilet accessible downstairs in the family's home.

It would be one customer at a time and open from Monday to Saturday by appointment only.

Mr Malcolm said there has been an increase in neighbours setting up their own businesses from home during the pandemic period.

He added: "There are other hair salons in the area but they are mainly for women.

"This should be convenient for people who will not want to go into the city."

But Thorpe St Andrew county councillor, Ian Mackie, said: "I do have reservations about a residential property being converted into a business.

Ian Mackie. Pic: Submitted.

Ian Mackie. Pic: Submitted. - Credit: Submitted

"Thorpe is already well served with a wonderful array of hairdressers and exciting shops in Plumstead Road, Thunder Lane and Yarmouth Road."

Thunder Lane in Thorpe St Andrew 

Thunder Lane in Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Ben Hardy

John Fisher, county councillor and vice-chairman of Broadland District Council, said: "It is the change of use which requires it to be progressed as a formal planning application.

"This will mean that the proposal will be judged against neighbour impact, highway impact, parking provision, disturbance, noise etc." 

John Fisher, chairman of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

John Fisher, chairman of the Norwich Highways Agency Committee. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives. - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

The application, which was registered on January 13, will be considered by Broadland District Council in due course.

The Malcolm family said they contacted the council about the application in July but were met with a backlog.