One less shop proposed for Norfolk Street

11 Norfolk Street Wisbech when it was put up for auction earlier this year

11 Norfolk Street Wisbech when it was put up for auction earlier this year - Credit: Auction House East Anglia

An attempt is being made to convert an empty shop in Norfolk Street, Wisbech, into a flat.  

It would represent a major departure for Fenland planners if the application is approved.  

The empty ground floor shop is at 11 Norfolk Street – most recently a vape store – but new owners want it to become part of a small complex of flats.  

11 Norfolk Street, now and then (proposed). 

11 Norfolk Street, now and then (proposed). - Credit: FDC Planning

The property was advertised for sale at an auction earlier this year for offers of around £100,000 that included 22 and 22a Orange Grove.  

Auction House East Anglia described it as a “mixed use investment opportunity”. 

The owner, from Milton Keynes, has told Fenland Council through his agent that he owns 11 Norfolk Street “in its entirety” which includes flats on the 1st and 2nd floor, and the empty ground floor retail unit. 

His agent says the majority of the works proposed are internal, however the frontage of the building will be altered.  

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“The concrete tiled frontage and roller shutter are in poor condition,” says the agent. 

The idea is to brick up the frontage, render finish and install a painted  

timber door and timber framed sash windows. 

He says this is to keep in line with conservation area guidelines and recent precedents set in the area. 

The agent adds: “This disused retail unit would be much better served as a ground floor flat, improving the character of Norfolk Street.  

“On a typical site, a change of use of this nature would be allowed under expanded permitted development rights but due to the location of the site in a conservation area - full planning is required.  

“Therefore, I feel this application should be granted as it offers no harm to the conservation of the area.” 

The agent says the proposal will utilise the existing pedestrian access serving the site, ie a front door directly onto the footpath of Norfolk Street.  

There is also a rear access not owned by the applicant which leads to a shared courtyard (shared by the other flats in this building), which is also the access for refuse collection.  

The agent says the site has good pedestrian links via pavements to nearby facilities and Wisbech town centre.