For sale: Norwich eyesore St Anne’s Wharf
Submitted - Savills
New life could finally be breathed into a derelict site in the heart of Norwich which has stood empty for more than a decade - after the riverside spot was put up for sale.
The St Anne’s Wharf site, between King Street and the River Wensum, is seen as a ‘pivotal’ site in the regeneration of the city centre, but has been derelict since 1999.
The lack of development of the site, once home to Norwich Brewery, has long frustrated planners and community leaders, with a number of ideas for it having fallen through.
At one point in the late 1990s, there were suggestions it could be turned into Norwich’s version of Covent Garden, with restaurants, cafes and a piazza.
Those plans never came to fruition and, in 2004, it looked like 437 apartments would be built there instead, after planning permission was granted.
But that scheme was scuppered when property developers City Living Developments (Norwich) and sister companies City Living Homes and Anglia Projects & Developments called in administrators in 2010.
However, as Norwich City Council publishes a blueprint which it hopes will pull in fresh investment into the area in and around King Street, there is fresh hope that St Anne’s Wharf could finally be developed.
In the council’s vision for the area, drawn up after talks with local people and businesses, they see St Anne’s Wharf as potentially suitable for up to 94 homes, along with commercial units which could become cafes, restaurants, offices, studios and small shops.
And land agents Savills has now put the site on the market. Savills has been appointed by Nigel Price and W John Kelly, joint administrators of Anglia Projects & Developments Limited, to sell the 4.9 acre site.
David Merrick, head of Savills Norwich, said: “This is a very significant parcel of land that provides one of the keys to unlock the regeneration of the wider south city area.
“There are limited city centre development opportunities and with confidence returning to the housing sector the time is right for this site to come forward for development.
“We are now inviting bids and are optimistic about the interest St Anne’s Wharf will attract for what is a real opportunity to create a scheme with vision in an important part of the city.”
The closing date for bids is August 9.
If the site is developed, it will put an end to comments that Lady Julian Bridge is a bridge to nowhere. When it was first mooted, the idea was that the bridge, which connects King Street to Riverside, would serve the new homes at St Anne’s Wharf, but at the moment the route to it weaves through the empty, overgrown, site.
Lesley Grahame, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, said: “It could potentially be good news, but it does depend on whatever they end up doing with the site. That said, people would like to see the site developed.
“What’s important is that whatever housing is built should be high quality and that there are also amenities for the people who live there.”