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Plans for former Warings building in Norwich could see development reach five storeys high

PUBLISHED: 12:31 15 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:31 15 January 2018

The former home of Warings could become a five storey block of flats. Picture Google

The former home of Warings could become a five storey block of flats. Picture Google

Google

Revised plans have been put in for the demolition of a building to the rear of Grade II listed Crystal House - the former home of Warings Furniture - in order to build flats on Cattle Market Street in Norwich.

In July 2014 approval was given for eight new homes at the site, and owner Richard Pratt has said he hopes work to be completed by the end of this year.

Norwich City Council refused an application from Mr Pratt in July 2016 to demolish the building to the rear of Crystal House and build 10 homes as it would “result in the loss of historic fabric” of the building.

Amended plans have now been put in with the addition of one extra flat and a heritage impact assessment, for a scheme which could reach up to five storeys in height.

The heritage impact assessment concludes the new plan would “preserve and enhance the architectural and historic character of the important early survival of an iron and glass showroom.”

The facade at the front of the building would remain and be used as retail space once more.

But it has met with opposition from LSI Architects, the neighbours of Crystal House at the Old Drill Hall, who have called the development “unbuildable, unmaintainable and inappropriate” in an objection.

They had raised concerns their site would be significantly affected during construction as the new build would be “hard up” to the boundary with their own property.

The Crystal House was built in 1862-3 for machine engineers Holmes and Sons, and is thought to be modelled on London’s Crystal Palace.

Owner Mr Pratt has had ambitions to develop the site along with the former home of the Owl Sanctuary, which he bought in January 2016

It sparked a widespread social media campaign to protect the venue by getting it listed as an Asset of Community Value.

The rock bar relocated to Timber Hill the following month, while the Cattle Market Street building has remained vacant ever since.

Speaking back in December, Mr Pratt said he would have to spend a six-figure sum to refurbish the premises.

Meanwhile, Warings Furniture moved to Westlegate in December 2016 after planning permission was granted for the building to become flats.

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