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Man who didn't turn home into Japanese restaurant applies to keep illuminated sign

PUBLISHED: 15:56 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:14 12 May 2019

The property at night, with Orlando's name illuminated. Photo: Submitted

The property at night, with Orlando's name illuminated. Photo: Submitted

Archant

A man accused of turning his Norwich home into a Japanese restaurant has applied for permission to keep his illuminated sign.

Orlando Williams. 
Photo by Simon FinlayOrlando Williams. Photo by Simon Finlay

Orlando Williams denied ever using his Earlham Road property as a restaurant, despite allegations from neighbours and leaflets advertising it as one.

The former restauranteur also erected an illuminated sign on the property that reads "Orlando's", along with a smaller sign featuring the name "Sakura" - a restaurant he once ran.

Norwich City Council, which granted him permission to turn the house into a bed and breakfast in January, had been in discussions with Mr Williams to remove the sign.

But it remains in place and he has since applied for retrospective permission to keep it.

The property on Earlham Road in Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe property on Earlham Road in Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

A city council spokesman said: "We've been in contact with Mr Williams to discuss this application and we'll be making a decision about it in the coming weeks."

The council investigated the property over a possible breach of planning control earlier this year following complaints from neighbours.

Officers found 24 dining places set out and a bar inside Mr Williams' house when they visited.

The council was also sent flyers and leaflets advertising the property as a restaurant.

The sign on the property in Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe sign on the property in Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

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However, the enforcement team made several phone calls to the advertised number and received no response.

The council concluded there was no definitive evidence of the house being used a restaurant.

Mr Williams did not wish to comment on his retrospective application to the council.

When he was contacted by this newspaper in January about the alleged restaurant, he denied operating one from his home.

He said at the time: "All I do, I have my name on my house.

"There is no restaurant there."

Mr Williams previously ran the Sakura Japanese restaurant on Ber Street before it closed in 2014.

A Facebook page for the restaurant now lists the address as his seven-bed house on Earlham Road.

Various flyers advertising Orlando's as the home of "Japanese BBQ and sushi" also feature the same address.

The city council previously said it had been working with Mr Williams to remove the illuminated sign.

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