By Martin George
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
A Swaffham jewellery shop has reassured confused customers that its future is safe after a similar shop across the road asked the council for permission to change from a shop to a home.
For 23 years Elaine and Jef Hill have run the Gem Shop at 1 London Street on the Market Place, which sells gold and silver items and crystals, as well as doing repairs.
However, a shop named Jewellery Workshop a few metres away from them at 1 Pit Lane, which also faces onto the Market Place, last month applied to Breckland Council to change the building from commercial use to residential use.
Mr Hill said: “We had one chap come in today who said I hear you are closing. I said no we are not and he said I’m glad.
“People have been worried about leaving their repairs. I think our biggest worry is that if people think we are going to disappear they are not going to leave their work.
“We are going very strong and our workshop is expanding and certainly we are not closing down. We are busier than ever.”
He said people travel from around the county to use their repair service, and they also pick up trade from tourists and people who own second properties in Norfolk.
In a message to Breckland Council about the Jewellery Workshop’s change of use application, Swaffham Town Council said it “would like to object to this change of use as this retail shop is in a prime location in the town centre, and would like to keep it as retail”.