Upmarket restaurant chain set to come to city19 February 2011
Another high-profile restaurant group is set to open in Nottingham city centre.
Hot on the heels of Jamie's Italian and Carluccio's, Browns Bar and Brasserie wants to open up in former solicitors' offices in Park Row.
The group - which has 16 other restaurant around the country, mainly in London and the South - is in talks with Robec Properties about converting the site.
Plans will be considered by the city council's development control committee next week.
If it receives the green light, work on the £1.4 million conversion will begin in the spring - creating more than 40 jobs.
Malcolm Wright of Robec said: "This landmark building has been vacant for seven years.
"Previous owners wanted to demolish the early Victorian building, but this was refused by a planning inspector at a public inquiry.
"It is in considerable need of repair, and we have worked very closely with Browns and city planners to achieve a solution that meets Nottingham's conservation needs, enabling the building to be restored to its former glory."
Mr Wright, founder and former managing director of consulting engineers BWB Consulting, said the new restaurant would add to Nottingham's reputation for quality dining.
A spokesperson for Browns added: "We are keen to open in Nottingham, but this is subject to the necessary licensing and planning permissions.
"We believe the restaurant would be a welcome addition to Nottingham and are hopeful of a positive outcome."
Planning officials are recommending the scheme is given the go ahead.
Nottingham Civic Society, which campaigned against the demolition of the Victorian villa, welcomed plans to turn it into a restaurant.
Society chairman Hilary Silvester said: "We are absolutely delighted that it's coming back into use.
"We hope that it will be very successful."
Ms Silvester previously spoke at an planning appeal against the demolition of the two-storey building, which is within the Wellington Circus Conservation Area.
She added: "We said we wanted to keep it.
"It makes a valuable contribution to the conservation area.
"It's almost like a sort of lodge at the gateway to The Park - the entrance to the conservation area."
Browns has restaurants in locations such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Brighton, and has six outlets in London.
The new restaurant could open in time for Christmas.