Women’s fashion store could be turned into new restaurant if firm closes

PUBLISHED: 11:58 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:58 29 October 2019

Bonmarche has gone into administration. Pic: Archant

Bonmarche has gone into administration. Pic: Archant

A building that currently houses a women’s clothing firm that has gone into administration could be turned into a new restaurant if the business closes.

Plans have gone in to change the use of the building in St Stephen's Street, currently the Bonmarche fashion store, from retail to a restaurant.

Bonmarche became the latest victim of the high street downturn when it announced earlier this month it was going into administration after a "sustained period of challenging trading conditions."

The womenswear retailer, with four shops in Norfolk, had struggled with rising costs and dwindling footfall but currently the business remains open with no redundancies.

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However, plans have already been submitted to Norwich City Council for a change of use, subject to Bonmarche coming out of the building.

The applicant is a financial investment firm based in Essex which currently works for restaurants including Prezzo and Loch Fyne.

Prezzo currently has a restaurant in Norwich's Tombland. Loch Fyne recently closed its Norwich restaurant in St Giles Street with the building up for sale.

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The application to change the building's use from retail to a restaurant states: 'The application has been made to establish that the proposed change of use is acceptable in principle, in the event the present tenant vacates the building either during or at the end of their tenancy."

Bonmarche has shops in Norwich, King's Lynn, Dereham and Yarmouth and operates 318 stores across the UK.

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