‘Prestige’ Porsche car showroom could be built in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:27 18 April 2018
Part of Norwich’s former cattle market site could be turned into a Porsche car dealership, as a forerunner of further development in the area.
Businessman Graham Dacre has asked Norwich City Council for permission to build the showroom and workshop on empty land off Hall Road, close to the B&Q store.
Mr Dacre made his fortune in cars, after buying a BMW car dealership in 1992 which grew into the Lind Group. He sold the group to Inchcape for more than £100m in 2006, with the exception of the Porsche Centre in Kent, which has been run by his son Russ.
And they are hoping to get permission for a similar centre in Norwich, near the roundabout where Hall Road meets Neatmarket.
The proposal is for a 27,200 square feet showroom and workshop. Documents lodged with City Hall describe it as a development of a ‘prestige nature’ in terms of its appearance and of the products and services offered.
The documents state that “completing the key frontage development” will “lead and encourage the overall development of the Neatmarket and Cattle Market sites”.
The documents say that, if permission is granted, the development would initially create about 25 new jobs, while business expansion in the future could create a further 10.
The future of Norwich’s livestock market, which uses another site at Hall Road, is still unclear. Mr Dacre, keen to develop the area, bought the site from the city council in 2010 and leased it back to them for use as a market.
But in 2016, Norwich City Council surrendered its lease on that land to Mr Dacre, although he was still obliged to provide a site for the livestock market.
Norwich Livestock Market claimed the deal breached an Act of Parliament, which requires the city council to provide land for a livestock and took it to the High Court.
While a High Court judge said the deal had not breached the 1984 Norwich City Council, as it was done “in good faith, with the intention of safeguarding the future of the cattle market”.
But he said negotiations around the deal did not comply with provisions in the act.
He said the council and livestock market would have to try to reach an agreement regarding the market - or the issue would have to return to court.