Salhouse Broad tearoom bid sparks concern as café owner says it would ‘strangle’ trade

Boats moored up at Salhouse Broad on a balmy October afternoon.Picture: James Bass

Boats moored up at Salhouse Broad on a balmy October afternoon.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A vision for a tearoom on the edge of the Broads has triggered criticism from a community fearful it may drive a local café out of business.

The Woodbastwick Estate's plans to transform the ground floor of a cottage, by Salhouse Broad car park, into the tearoom has attracted concern from two parish councils and dozens of residents.

On Friday, the scheme, which the estate says would breathe life into the 19th century building and strengthen the local economy, will come before the Broads Authority's planning committee, with officers recommending it for approval.

Martin Nudd owns Prima Rosa, a tearoom in Salhouse which benefits from tourist trade.

He said having a rival business just a stone's throw away from the Broad would 'strangle' the number of customers travelling into the village.

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'We, and other local businesses, rely on a lot of holiday trade,' he said. 'The Broads Authority should protect the cafés and shops that are already here.'

He said losing out on passing visitors and holidaymakers would severely impact trade.

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'It would make a huge difference to us. While we do have locals coming in to visit, many of our customers are visiting the Broad. Salhouse is a lovely village and to lose the businesses that are here would be bad news for everyone,' he said.

Both Salhouse and Woodbastwick Parish Councils have objected to the scheme, with Woodbastwick councillors citing poor access and the number of existing cafés and shops in Salhouse and neighbouring Ranworth, including one which houses a post office.

According to a Broads Authority report published ahead of Friday's meeting, officers have received 90 objections relating to the proposal, many from Prima Rosa customers.

The report admits any negative effect would be 'regrettable', but says it is 'not the role of the planning system to manage competition between businesses'.

If approved, the tearoom, on Slad Lane, would be open from 8am to 7pm year round.

The Woodbastwick Estate did not respond to our request for comment by the time of going to press.

• What do you think of the plans? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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