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Anger over bid for 285 student flats on Norwich car park

PUBLISHED: 13:30 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 07:50 08 December 2017

An artist's impression of the St Catherine's Yard development. Pic: Lanpro.

An artist's impression of the St Catherine's Yard development. Pic: Lanpro.

Lanpro

A decision will be made next week over whether more than 280 student flats can be built on a Norwich car park - with neighbours urging councillors to turn the application down.

Developers SCY Student Accommodation Ltd has lodged proposals with Norwich City Council to build a complex called St Catherine’s Yard next to Sentinel House in Surrey Street.

The development would be on the car park once used by the Norwich Union/Aviva staff who worked in Sentinel House, which itself is being converted into 199 apartments.

Members of Norwich City Council’s planning committee will meet on Thursday to decide whether to approve the scheme and City Hall officers are recommending approval.

But that recommendation comes despite more than 40 objections, including from The Norwich Society. The civic watchdog criticised what it described as “insensitive over development” which would “dominate visually the existing listed terrace”.

And people living in that terrace are also urging councillors not to give the development the go-ahead.

Rob McKenna, from the Carlton Terrace Residents Action Group, said: “The huge scale of the St Catherine’s Yard proposed student development is totally disproportionate to the footprint of the site, both in its mass and height. The proposed development totally dwarfs and overshadows Carlton Terrace and Gardens.”

The group said the scheme also goes against the city council’s own policies over the sort of development acceptable at the site. The council had identified the site for offices.

People in Carlton Terraces said they would rather see a mixed use development, with about 40 homes.

The developer has reduced the number of flats from 307 to 285 in an attempt to address concerns, but the residents’ group says the revised scheme still shows “little regard for the local community” and remains overbearing.

Broadland Housing Association, which owns the homes, has also raised concerns, saying the quality of life of the people who live there will be impacted by the “financially driven development”.

The developers say the new flats would help meet the demand for city centre student housing and free up other homes around the city, which would otherwise be rented to students.

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