The Bridge Restaurant at Wroxham could be demolished and rebuilt
- Credit: Archant Â© 2004
It is one of the most prominent - and picturesque - sights on the Broads.
And soon, visitors heading over the 16th century Wroxham bridge may spot a new addition to the vista, if a vision to rebuild an eatery goes ahead.
Mark Eames bought The Bridge Restaurant late last year after it closed, and now hopes to replace the current timber building with a two-storey structure offering more space for diners.
He has applied to the Broads Authority for permission and, if he secures it, said the cafe and restaurant could be open early next year.
While the plans remain in their infancy, he said the upstairs might be used as a café and bar with downstairs as a restaurant.
'It is all very early so we aren't decided,' he said, 'but we've had good feedback so far.
'We're working very closely with planners to make sure everything is in keeping with the area considering how beautiful the area is. I would hate for anyone to think 'what a mess they've put there'.'
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The second storey would take the restaurant above bridge level, making it visible to drivers heading over the bridge.
But according to a heritage assessment on the Broads Authority planning website, the building 'has been designed to provide a positive focal point for the area'.
Mr Eames - who, with another, set up the The Waterside café and tearoom at Rollesby, near Great Yarmouth - described the site as 'a prime spot' and said he would most likely wait until the New Year before opening.
'It's a long process anyway,' he said, 'but I wouldn't want us to rush it through just to open for Christmas and things have not gelled properly.
'I'd rather take my time and make sure it's all done right.'
If approved, the plans would see three disabled and five bicycle spaces added to the current car park at the Norwich Road restaurant.
A brick lean-to building next to the bridge, which dates back to 1576, would be retained, while another to the north of the property would be added.
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