Bid to convert former café into home refused again - but owner will appeal

Radley's cafe and shop in Salhouse, which is now closed.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Radley's cafe and shop in Salhouse, which is now closed.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The applicant behind a plan to convert a former village café has vowed to appeal after his latest proposal was refused without being debated by councillors.

A bid to turn the former Radley's Café on Lower Street in Salhouse into a single-bedroom property was lodged last month, almost four years after it closed amid a bitter rivalry with neighbouring business Prima Rosa.

It received an objection from Salhouse Parish Council, but the decision on its fate ultimately rested at district level, with Broadland Council making the call.

The proposal divided opinion locally, with several letters of support submitted alongside a number of objections, with some concern over whether a car would be able to park alongside the property.

Radley's cafe and shop in Salhouse, which is now closed.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Radley's cafe and shop in Salhouse, which is now closed.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

It was the third time since the café and shop closed in 2017 that an application for an alternative use had gone before the council, with Ray Stowers lodging the latest bid.

However, the latest bid will not go before councillors after its officers used delegated powers to refuse the scheme - with Mr Stowers vowing to appeal the decision.


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He said: "I think it's a disgraceful decision. This is the third time we have tried to do something with it now but now we are going to have to go down the appeal route."

The dispute dates back more than five years, when Prima Rosa moved into 82A Lower Street, directly next door to Radley's in 82B, forging the rivalry between the two businesses. 

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The building previously also housed a shop and the village post office, but after owner Kerry Radley began experiencing a drop in trade she made the decision in 2017 to close the business down.

While Prima Rosa remains in situ, the part of the business previously housing Radley's has been empty ever since, with previous efforts to convert it into a holiday home and a flat knocked back.

Broadland's case officer Jane Fox wrote: "The building was previously used as a post office, shop and café and is considered a community facility."

Mr Stowers added: "When Prima Rosa moved in a change of use was allowed, but now it feels as though there is one rule for them and one rule for us."

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