Investigation into man's alleged Japanese restaurant concludes

Orlando Williams, inset, is accused of running a restaurant and takeaway from his home on Earlham Road.

Orlando Williams, inset, is accused of running a restaurant and takeaway from his home on Earlham Road. - Credit: Archant

An investigation into whether a Norwich man is running an illicit Japanese restaurant from his home has been closed.

Orlando Williams has been accused of running a restaurant and takeaway from his home on Earlham Road, which he legitimately runs as a bed and breakfast.

Investigations into the former owner of Sakura on Ber Street first came to light in early 2019, after a neighbour lodged a complaint with Norwich City Council.

Orlando Williams denies claims his property is being used as a restaurant. Photo: Luke Powell

Orlando Williams denies claims his property is being used as a restaurant. Photo: Luke Powell - Credit: Archant

However, more than two years later, and the investigation into whether or not Mr Williams is running a restaurant without planning permission has been closed.

And a Freedom of Information request has revealed that during the investigation, council officials visited the property just twice.

The two visits came on May 26, 2020, to investigate the reports of unlicensed trading and on December 8 the same year, to conduct a food hygiene inspection.

During the course of the investigation, four complaints were made by members of the public about the property - although three were made by the same neighbour.


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The first came on October 4, 2018, before two followed on October 22, 2020 and December 8, 2020. A final complaint came on April 14, 202

During this same time period, this newspaper was able to arrange and purchase a meal from Mr Williams, who has not responded to a request for comment on this occasion.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: “We’ve been in regular contact with Mr Williams about the complaints and reports we've received.

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“The council has investigated these claims by carrying out in-person visits, as well in writing and through telephone correspondence.

“We will continue to monitor the premises and activity as well as thoroughly investigate if any further complaints are received.”

Previously Mr Williams has denied all knowledge of the restaurant and insisted he only runs a bed and breakfast.

Meanwhile, he has recently applied for retrospective planning permission to display a luminous sign reading 'Orlando's' above his door. 

Beneath this, a non-illuminated sign reads 'Sakura' - the name of the restaurant he previously ran in Norwich. He was ordered to remove both.

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