Man denies turning his house into restaurant – despite giant neon sign outside

Walking down Earlham Road in Norwich, you might be forgiven for doing a double take and wondering whether there’s a restaurant nestled in amongst the houses on the peaceful city street.

That’s because one of the properties has a rather unmissable neon sign hanging above its front door, which proclaims the place is "Orlando’s" to passers by.

But the homeowner, Orlando Williams, insists that he hasn’t turned his seven-bedroom house into a Japanese restaurant – despite his neighbours claims to the contrary.

People living on the residential street have told Norwich City Council that Mr Williams has been running a restaurant from his home since October 2018.

They claim he has been doing so without proper permission.

Subsequently the council have been forced to investigate the property to discover whether he is breaching planning regulations.

Williams, who used to run a different Japanese restaurant on Ber Street in Norwich, denies that he has done anything wrong.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, Williams said: "All I do, I have my name on my house."

He added: "There is no restaurant here."

As well as having the neon sign on the front of the premises, the word "Sakura" is also written on the door, which was the name of his previous restaurant business.

A Facebook account for Sakura Japanese still exists and now features an Earlham Road address – which matches that of Orlando’s.

To further fuel the fire, a different Facebook post from October suggests that Orlando’s is a Japanese BBQ and sushi restaurant.

A woman shared a photo of a leaflet advertising the eatery, writing: "Hey beautiful people! Come and visit Orlando’s! Open EVERYDAY from 4pm to 10pm. Located at Earlham Road, Norwich, NR4 7HW."

Norwich City Council has reportedly visited the property several times but has not been able to fully determine whether it is being used as a restaurant.

They say they are continuing to look into the issue.

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