Fears over height of new shop in Norwich’s Unthank Road
An attempt to breathe new life into a shop which has stood vacant for years has run into opposition, with objectors claiming the scale of redevelopment is out of keeping with the rest of the street.
The former Burrell's ironmongers' shop, in Norwich's Unthank Road, closed in 2008 and has been empty ever since.
But Mark Webster, whose son Charlie runs Websters estate agents a couple of doors down the road, has asked Norwich City Council for permission to demolish the former Burrell's building, to replace it with a new shop and two storeys of flats.
However, Mark Wilson, the city council's own conservation officer has said the proposal, which includes a first floor balcony, is 'unacceptable in design and conservation terms'.
Mr Wilson said: 'The design is a drastic change to the existing character of the street and its height will have an impact on the skyline.'
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Denise Carlo, Green city councillor for Nelson ward, also raised concerns. She said: 'As much as I would like to see the shop brought back into use, this proposal would spoil one of Norwich's most charming and popular parades of independent shops and harm the Victorian character of Unthank Road.
'The roofline of the three-storey block would be much higher than the two-storey small shops on Unthank Road.
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'It would dominate its neighbouring properties, if not the street.'
Paul Lucas, from Wymondham-based agents Lucas Hickman Smith, said his client was keen to work with planners and the community to come up with a suitable scheme.
He said: 'It is a work in progress and we are waiting for some feedback from the planners on what their views are.
'And we are going to meet with Denise to talk through her concerns.'
He said the proposal attempted to use elements of the Burrell's shopfront, but stressed it was not viable to keep the existing building.
The city council's planning committee will make a decision at future date.