Historic England’s fears over bid to expand Norwich Primark store

The Primark store at the Haymarket, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Primark store at the Haymarket, Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

A heritage watchdog fears proposals to partly demolish and rebuild Norwich's Primark would damage the city centre's conservation area - by making the revamped store 'unduly dominant'.

Primark has submitted redevelopment plan for its Haymarket city centre store, which would see a major expansion for the shop, including the creation of an extra shopping floor.

The next door buildings, currently home to Wallis and Dorothy Perkins, would be demolished and rebuilt as an extension to the Primark store.

And the Haymarket and White Lion Street facades of the current store would be knocked down and replaced.

Civic watchdog The Norwich Society, had branded the plans as 'ugly' and 'insensitive' and now an inspector from Historic England - formerly English Heritage - has also raised concerns.

Inspector David Eve visited the store last month and has written to Norwich City Council, where the plans have been lodged, to express his fears.

He warned there was a danger of the Primark store 'becoming unduly dominant in the street scene'.

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He wrote: 'As the design stands, we are concerned it could result in harm to the significance of the conservation area and other designated heritage assets.

'We would therefore not support the application at this time, but hope amendments will come forward.'

Primark did not want to comment. The application is due to be discussed by members of Norwich City Council's planning committee at a future meeting.

• Do you have a story about a Norwich business expanding? Call Sabah Meddings on 01603 772879 or email sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk