New cafe and takeaway bid for building which has been empty for years

An empty property in Aylsham Crescent in Norwich could become a cafe/takeaway. Pic: Dan Grimmer

An empty property in Aylsham Crescent in Norwich could become a cafe/takeaway. Pic: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

A new cafe or takeaway could be created in a building which has stood empty for almost a decade, but people living nearby say there are already too many such businesses near their homes.

A decision over plans to convert the building in Aylsham Crescent, at the junction of Mile Cross Road and Aylsham Road in Norwich, is due to be made by city councillors.

The building was previously a branch of Nationwide Building Society, but has been shut for at least eight years and the owner is looking to market it for use as a cafe/takeaway.

Documents lodged with Norwich City Council by Norwich-based agents K Garnham Design on behalf of the applicant state that: “The subject property is currently ‘To let’ and in order to expand the potential market the applicant would like to apply for a change of use from offices, which is a market that has been radically evolving over the last few years with increased use of home working and the internet.

“As a result of these life style changes the demand for small cafes, with the ability to sell hot and cold foods and beverages for take away has developed a significant presence in the market place.”

They say no specific tenant has yet been lined up, but getting permission would help to market the building.

However, there have been a handful of objections from people living nearby. One wrote to City Hall to say: “We already have numerous takeaways in the locality.

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“There’s frequently discarded food wrappers and containers thrown into our garden, without an additional establishment to add to the problem.

“There’s little or no parking in the vicinity of the proposed development which will lead to parked cars, causing obstruction on Woodcock Road.”

However, Norfolk County Council officers said they had no objection on highways grounds and City Hall planning officers are recommending that members of the planning committee give the go-ahead for the change of use when they meet on Thursday (August 13).

Planning officer Stephen Polley said: “It is acknowledged that there are already other hot food takeaways within the local area, including three within the Aylsham Crescent parade of shops.”

But he said cafes were considered to be “broadly supportive of the vitality and viability of local centres”.