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Norfolk charity to relocate after landlord looks to turn its Norwich offices into student flats

PUBLISHED: 13:26 24 April 2018

Graphic House in Norwich, which currently homes Norfolk Deaf Association.Picture: David Hannant

Graphic House in Norwich, which currently homes Norfolk Deaf Association.Picture: David Hannant

Archant

A Norfolk charity is faced with having to find a new home, after a planning application was lodged to turn its headquarters into houses.

Norfolk Deaf Association sign outside Graphic House in Norwich. Picture: David HannantNorfolk Deaf Association sign outside Graphic House in Norwich. Picture: David Hannant

The Norfolk Deaf Association (NDA) currently operates out of Graphic House on Thorpe Road in Norwich.

However, the building’s landlord has lodged an application with Norwich City Council to expand the site and change the ground floor to student accommodation.

If successful, the development would see an additional 15 en suite student flats added to the building - seven on the ground floor and a further eight on a new third floor of the building.

However, it would also leave the NDA in need of finding a new headquarters, with its current agreement set to expire at the end of the month.

The application has been submitted by Architectural Design and Planning Partnership on behalf of Joseph Goodwin, whose company White Mountain Ltd owns the building.

The application says: “The lease on the ground floor office space expires in towards the end of April 2018. At this time the occupiers of the ground floor (The Norfolk Deaf Association) will relocate.

“Due to surplus office space in Norwich - it has been very difficult to find replacement office-based businesses to locate the premises.”

The building is currently set across three storeys with 16 student flats, each charging between £160 and £170 per week rent.

The application’s design and access statement states that an increasing demand for student accommodation has influenced the decision.

It reads: “Due to the rapid expansion of the general student population throughout Norwich as a whole - and especially the student population of the Norwich University of the Arts - there is a current lack of good quality student accommodation in close proximity to the city centre.

“The location of the site is ideal in terms of accessibility and proximity to town centre services, retail and entertainment facilities.”

Graphic House was built in the 1970s and, until 2004, was solely used as offices.

Nobody from the Norfolk Deaf Association was available to comment at the time of publication.

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