Asian supermarket in Durham City to relaunch as restaurant

By Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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Golden Pearl at 19 North Road, Durham Photo: Google

An established Asian supermarket and cafe in Durham City has won permission to relaunch as a restaurant, following a decision by planning bosses.

Earlier in June, plans were lodged with Durham County Council to change the use of the Golden Pearl at 19 North Road.

This included a switch from a ‘shop with ancillary cafe’ to a restaurant.

A planning statement, submitted with the application, stated the venue would be rebranded as a “modern, informal, Asian fusion eatery serving both the Durham student population and residents.”

A ‘limited menu’ would also be offered – comprising Asian-influenced rice and noodle dishes- with table service and takeaway options available.

According to planning documents, the current operator has traded from the North Road site for the past decade and also runs a Thai restaurant close to Framwellgate Bridge.

Following consultation, Durham County Council’s planning authority approved plans for the Golden Pearl on Monday, September 7.

Works at the site will be limited to a new kitchen area and disabled toilet facility alongside a cosmetic refurb.

Approved opening hours would be 9am-10pm, seven days a week.

The planning statement from the applicant goes on to say: “The existing property forms the ground floor of a three-storey building which currently operates as an Asian supermarket and cafe.

“The existing occupier is looking to discontinue the sale of Asian grocery products, to concentrate on their food offering.

“The upper floors are currently being used as residential accommodation and does not form part of the application.”

Under planning conditions, work must be brought forward within the next three years.