Bid to create largest bike shop in East Anglia as Giant eyes Norwich store
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016
Bicycle manufacturer Giant UK is looking to open its first store in Norwich - which it says would be the largest bike shop in East Anglia.
The company, in association with bike shop Cycle Revolution, wants to open a store at a former car showroom off Hall Road.
The applicants say the showroom, which would have room to display more than 140 bicycles, would be the largest bicycle shop in the region.
The showroom, on the White Lodge Business Estate, has been empty since Foursons Mitsubishi, closed in May 2014 and, if permission for the new store is granted, it could create up to 14 jobs - a mix of full and part-time.
The applicant says the site is ideal for such a store, with a cycle route passing outside the building.
And, in supporting documents lodged with Norwich City Council, planning consultants from Ingleton Wood state: 'Due to the design of the Giant UK branded bikes and their value, the applicant's business model requires high quality, open plan retailing space which lends itself more to the concept of a showroom.
'The existing site and the layout of the building could therefore remain relatively unchanged and the vacant space could be utilised effectively to its full potential.'
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But, planning policies look to protect city centres and other existing district shopping areas.
So, the applicants need to show they have considered other possible locations for the store.
What is known as a 'sequential test' has been submitted to City Hall.
That states that other sites, including at Castle Mall, Chapelfield, St Stephen's Street, Anglia Square and Harford Place, are not suitable for a store, for a number of reasons.
Documents lodged with the council state: 'The applicant has, for two years, been seeking an opportunity to invest and develop their Giant UK concept store in Norwich.
'An extensive search over this period found no suitable, viable and available units in a more sequentially preferable location in Norwich.
'For the brand, the location and scale of the proposed unit is considered suitable, as well as being optimal for the business model.'
A decision on whether to grant planning permission will be made by the city council in the months ahead.