Decision looms on demolition of former city music pub

The Blueberry in its heyday. Pic: Archant

The Blueberry in its heyday. Pic: Archant

Councillors will this week vote on whether a Norwich pub once famed for its live music should be demolished to make way for flats.

The Blueberry Music House, in Cowgate has sat empty since closing down in 2019 and was sold for a reported £235,000 the following year.

And earlier this year, plans were submitted to demolish the building and replace it with a block of flats.

The application was submitted by Kent Magill Ltd, which had initially proposed a development of 23 flats.

However, since the initial bid was lodged, the application has been scaled back to consist of 11 one-bedroom flats and four two-bedroom properties. 


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These proposals will go before Norwich City Council's planning committee this week, with officers asking councillors to give it the green light.

The amendments reduced both the height and the bulk of the building, after 27 neighbours highlighted concerns around how it would overshadow the neighbouring area. 

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One comment on it said: "Squeezing 23 flats into this spall space will not provide good living conditions for the people moving in, including cramped conditions and insufficient lighting and outlook."

Green Party councillor Jamie Osborn was also among those to object to the proposals, saying it was "hard to see how the development would provide satisfactory amenity".

Mancroft ward councillor Jamie Osborn ahead of the council clearing the fly-tipped waste

Norwich City Council Green Party member Jamie Osborn has objected to the demolition of the Blueberry pub - Credit: Jamie Osborn

He added: "It is a massive and imposing design that will damage the streetscape".

However, in recommending that councillors approve the scheme, case officer Sarah Hinchcliffe wrote in her report that the plans would fill a need for single bedroom properties in the city.

 Her report reads: "The proposed development of housing is on a brownfield site in a highly sustainable location.

"The modifications made to the scale and design of the proposals result in a form of development which would not be out of scale with its surroundings."

The pub was once at the heart of the city live music scene, with particular emphasis placed on blues music and had been under the Blueberry name since 1996.

It had also previously been registered as an asset of community value, but this lapsed in October 2020.

Norwich City Council's planning committee will consider the application on Thursday, September 9.

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