Restaurant bid to breathe new life into former JJB store in Great Yarmouth

The empty JJB Sports store, Market Place, Great Yarmouth

The empty JJB Sports store, Market Place, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

Renewed plans have been put forward to turn an empty Great Yarmouth shop into a restaurant – and received some early support.

A bid to transform the former JJB Sports shop in the Market Place has been lodged with planning bosses, in a second attempt to breathe new life into the listed building.

Under the scheme, the ground floor would be converted to make way for an eatery, and three flats would be built on the floors above.

Earlier proposals lodged in August went back to the drawing board after conservation officers raised concerns about creating a new opening in the building, and made a plea for more of the historic building's existing structure to be preserved through the layout of the flats.

And the developer has now answered officers' points with a new set of the plans.

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Documents supporting the application say the shop unit and building has been 'vacant for some time' and despite being marketed for 12 months there has been 'little interest'.

The document adds: 'The proposal is to not only bring the ground floor back into a feasible use but also provide a suitable use to upper floors, which will ensure the sustainability of the building and long term quality and maintenance that is required.'

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The plans have already received support with one resident writing in to say the scheme would benefit the town.

The application, which is being considered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, is to change the use of the building from retail to restaurant use so marketing can then be kick started to find an 'end user' to move in.

Upstairs it is proposed to build three flats, one on each floor. The existing stair core and windows will be used in their design, minimising the need for alterations.

On the outside gutters, eves and downpipes will be reused where possible to retain the character of the building.

The document concludes: 'The proposals put forward require minimal alterations to the appearance of the building but will contribute to its long term maintenance and management.'

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