Enforcement action forces removal of sign at Japanese ‘restaurant’ which had no permission

The sign at Orlando's has been removed. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The sign at Orlando's has been removed. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A man who denied he was running a Japanese restaurant from his home without permission has been forced to remove an illuminated sign on the front of the building.

Orlando Williams. Photo by Simon Finlay

Orlando Williams. Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Norwich City Council has taken enforcement action to make Orlando Williams take down the sign saying ‘Orlando’s’ from his property in Earlham Road.

While Mr Williams has permission to operate a bed and breakfast from the property and to serve meals to the guests staying there, he does not have permission to run a restaurant - or for the sign, which included telephone numbers and a website address.

Allegations that Mr Williams had turned his seven-bedroom home on Earlham Road into a restaurant resulted in a council investigation last January.

Officers uncovered a bar and seating for 24 people, but no enforcement action was taken after City Hall found no “definitive evidence” showing the address was operating as a restaurant.

The sign at Orlando's has been removed. Pic: Dan Grimmer

The sign at Orlando's has been removed. Pic: Dan Grimmer - Credit: Archant

However, last month one of our reporters was able to purchase a takeaway meal from Mr Williams.A separate eat-in menu was provided by Mr Williams on collection, who had previously offered the option to eat in his restaurant - despite all other restaurants being forced to close due to coronavirus.

When the evidence was put to Mr Williams, who previously ran a legitimate restaurant Sakura Yakiniku on Ber Street, he said: “I am not going to say anything. What you did was wrong.”

Our findings were reported to Norwich City Council, who said they would look into the allegations with Mr Williams. They have since spoken to him. He has taken down the sign and painted over words above the arch of the property.

A Norwich City Council spokeswoman said: “The sign on the property has been removed following an enforcement notice due to a planning breach.

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“We have spoken to Mr Williams about the current permissions he has in place to operate the premises as a bed and breakfast – for which he has planning permission.

“We haven’t received any further reports of food or drink being sold from the property, but we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Mr Williams, who also lists the property through online rental platform Airbnb, was not available for comment.

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