Owners of former pub could face action after jumping the gun with shop sign

New signs installed on The Forge in Philadelphia Lane, Norwich.

New signs installed on The Forge in Philadelphia Lane, Norwich. - Credit: Archant

A city shop could be facing enforcement action before it has even opened its doors after a sign blunder.

Plans have been lodged to turn the former Forge pub, in Philadelphia Lane, into a convenience store and are awaiting the green light from the city council.

However, new signs have already been placed over the building's entrance, leading to the applicants being warned that they may face action.

Pub of the Week, The Forge in Philadelphia Lane, Norwich.; Photo by Simon Finlay

How the pub looked with its previous signs - Credit: Archant

The pub's name, it appears, will remain the same, but new signs have already been put up outside reading "The Forge Local Shop".

And this has been put in place despite planning permission not yet granted for the project - and an objection from the Campaign for Real Ale looming.

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The application was lodged last month, which covers the change of use for the former boozer - but does not extend to the shop's signage.

And City Hall has warned that the applicant, Logesvaran Nadarajan, could face action over the signs, even if permission is granted for the change of use.

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A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said: “An application to convert the public house to a shop is currently being processed and considered by the planning team, but no decision has been issued yet.

“Any associated signage may need consent under a separate application and if signs have already been erected this will be looked into and any appropriate action taken.”

The signs have been in situ for a few days and neighbours have shared pictures of them over social media.

However, Mr Nadarajan insists the signs have not been installed permanently - claiming they had been put up by contractors for test purposes.

He said: "The builders did a test with the signs. This will be removed soon this weekend.

"We will put up the sign once the planning permission is granted."

Mr Nadarajan said earlier this month that the shop would provide "more of a service than a business" if it is approved.

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

But Richard Dixon, pubs protection manager for the local branch of CAMRA, said that it would be "a great shame" for it to be lost as a pub and has said the group will oppose it.

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