An Indian restaurant in Cambridge which has been shut since a fire broke out in 2016 could be in line for a bold new look, but some claim the plans are "reminiscent of a Dali painting" and "a lewd mouth spewing disgust over the iconic millpond".
The India House restaurant in Newnham Road, Cambridge, has stood empty since August 2016, when a fire broke out, leaving a hole in the roof.
No one was injured in the fire, but the restaurant has remained closed since then.
Now there are plans to demolish it and to build in its place a new block with seven flats and a commercial unit on the ground floor. There are, however, concerns about the new plans, with some local groups saying they do not fit in with the historical nature of the surroundings.
In a design access statement submitted along with the plans, the architects, Moses Cameron Williams, note the important character of the area, and say the site has the potential to make a "far more positive" contribution to the area with new "commercial" space and places to live upstairs.
According to the architects, the new proposal would "release additional pavement space at street level, providing both greater width and improved visibility across and around this important corner".
A spokesman for the Newnham Croft Conservation Group said more effort should be made to restore the old building.
The group says it forms part of old Newnham and is adjacent to the historic core of the city and the plans are "essentially out of keeping" with the area.
A Newnham resident wrote to the council to slam the plans, calling them "reminiscent of a Dali painting - a lewd mouth spewing disgust over the iconic millpond".