We are looking to renovate our kitchen and are currently engaging with kitchen designers. However, our current fridge alcove is limiting our fridge options as we would like a larger french door fridge (family of 6). Our current fridge is 825mm wide. We would like to go to a 900mm fridge + allowing 20mm of air ventilation either side, so 940mm width. The current fridge and alcove is very tight with an opening of 850mm wide. We therefore need an extra 90mm of width in the fridge alcove. This is outside the scope of the kitchen designer at the moment until we have discussed with a builder/handyperson.
The alcove is single brick with a horizontal steel plinth above the existing fridge at the front of the alcove. The original design was for an oven in this alcove and so the alcove is open above the fridge for ventilation into the single roof cavity.
I've linked below photos of the current fridge and alcove and a copy of the relevant parts of the house plan. I've marked the single brick wall in question in red highlighter and the steel plinth in dashed red highlighter.
I'm getting a builder/handyperson out to inspect and advise on the weekend, but to give me some early insight, do you think this alcove wall is load bearing? As the easiest solution would be to remove the outside alcove brick wall and replace with matching cabinatery panel.
Thoughts please? Thanks in advance
Link to kitchen photos and house plan: