Pub once at epicentre of music scene set for demolition

The venue in Cowgate has now been boarded up. Picture: Archant

The Blueberry pub on Cowgate closed its doors in 2019. - Credit: Archant

The fate of a pub that was once at the epicentre of the city's music scene will be sealed in the next week.

The Blueberry Music House on Cowgate was once a hive of live music activity, with hundreds of aspiring bands passing through its doors over the years.

However, it has been empty since 2019 when a notice informing punters of its closure was placed in the window citing "unforeseen circumstances".

The Blueberry Music House in Cowgate. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Blueberry Music House in Cowgate. Pictured in 2013. - Credit: copyright: Archant 2013

Since then, a planning application has been lodged to demolish the pub building and replace it with a three-storey residential building providing 15 flats.

And on Thursday, councillors will consider the bid with officers recommending that they give the scheme the green light.

The application has been submitted by Kent Magill Ltd, which had initially proposed a development of 23 flats.

However, since the initial bid was lodged, the application has been scaled back to consist of 11 one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom properties. 

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The amendments reduced both the height and the bulk of the building, after 27 neighbours highlighted concerns around how it would overshadow the neighbouring area. 

One comment on it said: "Squeezing 23 flats into this small space will not provide good living conditions for the people moving in, including cramped conditions and insufficient lighting and outlook."

Jamie Osborn, Green city and county councillor.

Jamie Osborn, Green city and county councillor. - Credit: Jamie Osborn

Green Party councillor Jamie Osborn was also among those to object to the proposals, saying it was "hard to see how the development would provide satisfactory amenity".

He added: "It is a massive and imposing design that will damage the streetscape".

However, in recommending that councillors approve the scheme, case officer Sarah Hinchcliffe wrote in her report that the plans would fill a need for single bedroom properties in the city.

 Her report reads: "The proposed development of housing is on a brownfield site in a highly sustainable location.

"The modifications made to the scale and design of the proposals result in a form of development which would not be out of scale with its surroundings."

The pub had previously been registered as an asset of community value, but this lapsed in October 2020.

Norwich City Council's planning committee will consider the application on Thursday, September 9.