A Norfolk snooker hall that hosted champions like Jimmy 'The Whirlwind' White is a step closer to being turned into a shop. 

Broadland Snooker Centre in Hellesdon closed down in 2021 after the club’s landlord opted to sell the building rather than renew the lease.

Since then, two proposals have been submitted to transform the vacant hall into a retail space.

Thomas and Martin Klinge sought to divide the building into three separate units under plans approved in 2022, but lodged a second bid in December last year. The new designs would see the creation of a single retail space.

This is now closer to becoming a reality as planning officers at Broadland Council have recommended the application for approval.

Eastern Daily Press: Jimmy White plays at Broadland Snooker Centre in 2011Jimmy White plays at Broadland Snooker Centre in 2011 (Image: Sonya Duncan)READ MORE: The 'zombie' town where more than a QUARTER of shops are boarded up

The snooker hall, on the roundabout where Reepham Road meets Middletons Lane, hosted some of the biggest names in the sport over the last few decades. 

The venue was run by Roger and Nicola Reynolds from 2004 until its closure. Mr Reynolds said the business was "more than a snooker club" to its members. 

A report to Broadland Council advises that the building is now in a poor state of repair with windows blocked up and walls vandalised and graffitied.

Eastern Daily Press: Roger and Nicola Reynolds in the club's heyday Roger and Nicola Reynolds in the club's heyday (Image: Paul Hewitt)The proposals are largely supported by councillors who are keen to bring the building back into "productive use" but concerns have been raised about the alterations to the original plans. 

Shelagh Gurney, Broadland Tory councillor, said: "Although I am pleased to see the building brought back into use, I preferred the option of the three smaller units which would facilitate opportunities for smaller businesses.

"I feel that the proposals for one large unit are regressive and could see another supermarket outlet moving in. This could have a detrimental effect on other shops nearby."

Broadland District Council will decide whether to approve the application at a meeting on March 27.