Norwich set to get new Iceland and Home Bargains stores

The Homebase store at Hall Road, which is set to get smaller, with Iceland and Home Bargains sharing

The Homebase store at Hall Road, which is set to get smaller, with Iceland and Home Bargains sharing the building. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

New Iceland and Home Bargains stores are on the verge of coming to Norwich, with the shops set to share a site with a downsized Homebase.

Norwich City Council has given the go-ahead to vary existing permission for what can be sold at the Homebase store in Hall Road - which means it can be divided up into four smaller units.

Applicant Shroders Real Estate Fund secured has permission from officers at City Hall.

The applicant had said that Homebase no longer needed such a large store, so would be reduced in size to a smaller unit of 2,789 square metres with 697 square metres of garden centre.

But they said Home Bargains and Iceland were keen to take on two of the newly created subdivided units.

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The Iceland store would be an Iceland Food Warehouse, which the applicants said would differ from traditional Iceland stores, such as in Anglia Square. There is already one in Great Yarmouth.

They said, while frozen food is still the 'primary function', they have more space, with extended product ranges, bigger packs and 'premium quality lines'.

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The Iceland Food Warehouse would be about 1,200 square metres and the Home Bargains store 1,864 square metres.

Shroders Real Estate has not said which retailer would occupy the fourth unit.

But the city council has given the go-ahead for the sale of food and drink, toys and games, health and beauty products, medicines, clothing, baby products, household products and home furnishings, which paves the way for the new occupiers to open.

In giving the go-ahead, council officers said the applicants had carried out what is known as a sequential test to look at providing the stores in alternative locations.

Council officers said no appropriate alternatives had been found and officers stated: "The proposed development would not have a significantly harmful impact on existing centres."

While the permission to vary what is sold at the site has been granted, the applicant has subsequently asked for a further variation.

They are asking for permission for the Iceland Food Warehouse store to have a new mezzanine for a store office, staffroom, cloakroom and staff toilets.

Council officers will need to consider whether that would be acceptable.

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