Historic Norwich city centre building, empty for 25 years, could become flats
New life could finally be breathed into an historic building which has stood empty in Norwich city centre for more than 25 years.
Developers have put forward plans to convert the upper floors of Castle House, a six-storey building between Castle Meadow and Castle Street, into more than two dozen new homes.
The application to convert the long-vacant offices has been lodged with Norwich City Council by TH Real Estate.
If the scheme gets the go-ahead from City Hall, it would see the facades of the building, which is locally-listed, refurbished, with new multi-pane windows installed.
Solar panels on the roof of the 19th century building would provide 10pc of the energy supplied to the 25 new flats, while there would be cycle storage for more than 40 bicycles.
The development would not affect the retail units beneath, which include Maplin and Dr Martens.
James Tibbles, development manager for TH Real Estate, said: “We believe that these new city centre homes will provide opportunities for first time buyers to get a foot on the housing ladder and for local ‘down-sizers’ to buy a home that suits their circumstances.
“The residents of the new homes will add life to this part of the city centre and contribute to the local economy through their use of local shops and services.
“Also, the restoration of the building’s exterior will add to the attractiveness of the city centre and the conservation area.
“We are pleased that we have been able to come forward with a viable and sustainable scheme that will bring back in to use the long-vacant upper floors of Castle House which have been empty for over 25 years.”
Two previous attempts, in 2014 and 2015, to turn the offices into homes, foundered. One was refused by the council and the other was withdrawn, to be replaced by the revised scheme now lodged.
Do you think more flats are needed in Norwich city centre? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email firstname.lastname@example.org