Bakery to serve alcohol despite residents’ fears over ‘unbearable’ noise

Owners of Two Magpies Bakery; Steve Magnall and Rebecca Bishop. Picture: Archant

Owners of Two Magpies Bakery; Steve Magnall and Rebecca Bishop. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Diners at a city eatery are set to enjoy a glass of wine during pizza evenings, despite concerns from neighbours that it could add to an “already unbearable” situation.

Norwich bakery Two Magpies, on Timberhill, has been granted a licence to serve alcohol but nearby residents spoke out against the plans - which they claimed would to add to existing concerns about “late hours, music and noise”.

But owner Stephen Magnall hit back and said: “I am more than happy to try to resolve this issue.”

The Two Magpies owners, who run other sites in Southwold, Aldeburgh and Darsham, Suffolk, took over the former Timberhill premises earlier this year.

READ MORE: What’s on the menu at Two Magpies’ first Norfolk bakery?

During a meeting of the city council’s licensing committee, held on Monday, August 10, Mr Magnall said: “We took over about five weeks before Covid-19 hit.

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“We have alcohol licences on all our other sites. Some people like to have a glass of Prosecco with their pizza or meal. It’s about the customer enjoying the ambience - not a massive drinking vibe.”

And he said outdoor drinking would not go on beyond 9.30pm.

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But neighbours said work at the site affected their quality of life.

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Timberhill resident, Sandra, who did not give her last name, told the committee: “I live on the second floor and my window is completely adjacent to Magpies.”

She said she had issues with smells from the bakery, and said: “It will make a situation that’s already unbearable even worse.

“My life isn’t the nice pleasant life that I had when I first moved here.”

And neighbour Nick Backhouse added: “We’re concerned about late hours, music, customer noise and the use of alcohol.

“We’re quite familiar with street drinking and users which we’ve had to report to the police.

“We’re concerned that’s going to add to it.”

READ MORE: Could new flats and coronavirus spell the end for street as centre of Norwich night life?

But Mr Magnall said he had spoken with the council about noise proofing and removed the fryers which led to smells.

“I’m more than happy to try and resolve this issue,” he said.

“I don’t disagree that I have walked down the back of this street and seen drunk people, and people on drugs and I have found needles as well.

“The reality is these people are not going to come in and have a glass - they would be refused.”

The bakery was given a licence, subject to conditions including CCTV being made available, noise limit equipment being installed, and shorter hours of service.

READ MORE: ‘We don’t live in Spain’ - noise concerns over new al-fresco dining policies

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