Golden Triangle shop 'not going anywhere' despite site home conversion plan

Bryony Fayers' new shop Bear is inspired by her children, she is pictured with her youngest son Laurie.

Bryony Fayers with her youngest son Laurie - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Plans for a new three-bed home have been lodged at the site of a thriving family business in the city - which has no intention of shutting up shop.

The landlord of 33a Avenue Road in the heart of Norwich's Golden Triangle has submitted a change of use application from retail to form a first floor flat. 

But Bryony Fayers, owner of the Bear family supplies store which is currently located in the building, said she is not going anywhere fast. 

The former West End costume supervisor set up her dream shop last year and intends to expand the business to include a café with child-friendly snacks.

She also wants to find space for yoga classes.

Bryony Fayers is opening modern family store Bear in Norwich, she is pictured with her youngest son Laurie. 

Bryony Fayers with her youngest son Laurie - Credit: Sonya Duncan

She said: "The planning application is nothing to do with me. If I need to move elsewhere then I will but the landlord said I will be staying here for at least the next few months as he is not in any rush.

"The business is going really well at the moment. I want it to be a community space with a café and to make it a lovely, accessible place." 

Bear sells essential items for kids as well as prints, cards, soft furnishings and toys. 

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Mrs Fayers has previously worked on West End shows such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Billy Elliot.

She moved to Norwich around five years ago along with husband Joe and her children after falling in love with the city.

Planning documents state the proposal will not change the external appearance of the building except for minor changes to alter the shop doorway to a full length window. 

The first floor home would have three bedrooms, a small study and a family bathroom.

Sarah Hinchcliffe, a senior developer for Norwich City Council, has raised concerns over limited amenity space outside the building.

She believes removing existing parking space would offer a solution for this.

Bear is opening on Saturday in 33a Avenue Road in Norwich. 

Bear is currently located at 33a Avenue Road - Credit: Sonya Duncan

She told planners: "I feel generally comfortable with the proposed change of use but feel that the outside amenity space available for a four bed dwelling is very limited."

Planning officers have recommended approval for the plans.