Bid for new two-bed flat above city centre cafe

The Surrey Kitchen and Bar in Surrey Street, Norwich

The Surrey Kitchen and Bar in Surrey Street, Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

A swanky new flat could soon hit the market in the city centre, situated above a cosy cafe.

Plans to convert three commercial kitchens beside the current living area on top of The Surrey Kitchen and Bar have been lodged to Norwich City Council by applicant James Ewles.

The Surrey Street business used to trade as the Surrey Tavern from 1851 until 2016.

The Surrey Tavern, which has closed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Surrey Tavern which closed in 2016 - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Plans were submitted by developers to convert part of the three-storey building into housing five years ago.

However incoming owners transformed the site into the café bar in January 2018.

It is currently shut.

The plans would see the building still used for commercial ventures on the ground floor.

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A heritage statement written on behalf of Mr Ewles said: "The proposed development will enable this property to grow a new sustainable life, retaining both residential and commercial uses.

"The existing residential use will become much more useable from its current small status.

"The existing commercial use can easily be contained within the two storeys below.

"Town centre living is most desirable for young and elderly people as all local facilities are nearby within walking distance, with no need for a car.

"The proposed alteration works will be sympathetically carried out to respect and enhance the existing property and its setting. 

"The proposals consist of altering and converting the existing part commercial kitchens into a larger existing residential unit.

"The existing commercial kitchens will be removed and replaced with a new residential kitchen/diner and living room. The existing small residential kitchen will become a new en suite."

The Surrey Kitchen and Bar in Norwich

The Surrey Kitchen and Bar in Norwich - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

There are currently three commercial kitchens, one bathroom and two bedrooms on the first floor.

If approved, the altered space would include a living room, kitchen/diner, two bedrooms and one bathroom.

The heritage statement added: "Over many years of numerous internal changes, there is very little historical interest remaining within. Therefore, the proposals will have no effect on heritage matters.

"As the proposed works do not affect the front elevation, all historical interest will remain and not be disturbed." 

Richard Dixon, pubs protection manager of the Norwich branch of CAMRA

Richard Dixon, pubs protection manager of the Norwich branch of CAMRA - Credit: Richard Dixon

Richard Dixon, pub protection officer for Norwich and District branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said: "If this is used to help the business survive then that can be a useful way forward."