City shop ordered to spend thousands redoing front after breaking planning rules
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
A city mobile phone repair store has been ordered to spend thousands of pounds on changing its shopfront after falling foul of planning regulations.
Zamcall took over the former Swarovski shop on Brigg Street in Norwich in 2019 and swiftly carried out works to rebrand the store with its own logo and details.
However, the work, which saw new plastic fascia, a roller shutter and red pilasters added to the former jewellers, was carried out without planning permission, resulting in Norwich City Council taking action.
In October of that year, the council served an enforcement notice ordering the owners to reverse the changes and apply for permission once a redesign could be carried out.
But the Covid-19 pandemic led to discussions between the owners and the council breaking down - and the shop heard nothing more about making the changes until September of this year.
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Now, the owners have submitted a planning application to redesign the shop front, which would set out to duplicate how it looked under its previous permission as Swarovski, only with Zamcall’s logo.
Tofail Khan, co-owner of Zamcall, said: “The original cost to design and build the front show cost us between £8,000 and £10,000 about a year and a half ago. The new changes will also be costing us approximately £8,000.
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“I am not very happy with council’s decision. At this time of the year, there is no business, we are running a hand to mouth life and council is asking us to change the shop front.
“Shops have lost business due to Covid-19 and even after lockdown our business was slow. So technically, our first year was a big loss.”
But a spokesman for City Hall said: “Anyone wanting to make changes to their property needs to check if they need planning permission or consent first, which they can find out more about on our website.
“Any required consent or permission needs to be obtained before the work is started. If this work starts without the necessary permission or consents, the developer may be served with an enforcement notice detailing what needs to happen next, as in this particular case.”